Name change ‘milestone’ for highway
THE Pacific Highway between Glenugie and Maclean will soon be renamed, with 'Big River Way' to appear on road signs and online maps once the new bypass south of Grafton, Ulmarra and Tyndale opens later this year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the name will mark a new milestone for the Woolgoolga to Ballina project.
"We know just how important the project is, and I am excited to see the project progressing," Mr McCormack said.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the new name would make it easier for visitors and emergency services to move around the region.
"This new road name will avoid confusion between the existing Pacific Highway and the upgraded highway, making it easier for everyone to move in and around the Clarence Valley," Mr Toole said.
"The upgraded highway route will bypass South Grafton and Ulmarra and bring about a significant reduction in the volume of traffic travelling on the existing Pacific Highway."
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said he was a long-time supporter of upgrading the Pacific Highway.
"I came into this parliament to continue the fight for further funding of the Pacific Highway because upgrading this highway saves lives and brings hundreds of construction jobs to our local people," Mr Hogan said.
"When complete, it will help local tourism and other industries by better linking their businesses with the large market places of Sydney and Brisbane and attract more tourists to the area."
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and Infrastructure and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the community provided suggestions for a new name in 2019.
"The local community who live and work along the section of the highway were consulted and included landholders, businesses, community groups and emergency services," Mr Gulaptis.
"More than 290 local submissions were received which included 166 unique names being submitted."
Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons said the name chosen reflects the fact the majority of the road runs close by the Clarence River.
"Council decided on the proposed name for the road from the 166 unique names submitted and the NSW Geographical Names Board has since reviewed and approved Big River Way," Mr Simmons said.
"Council also recommended the section of road from Tyndale to Cameron Street in Maclean be given the same road name to ensure continuity, simplified signage and ease of way-finding for all road users."
Property owners will shortly receive a letter from Council formally advising them of the process, which will include information about when the changes will come into effect and the support available.
When open to traffic, the upgraded highway route will bypass South Grafton, Ulmarra and Tyndale, causing a significant reduction in the volume of traffic travelling on the existing route.
This final section of the upgraded Pacific Highway is on schedule to open to traffic later in 2020, weather permitting.