Since 1996, the Pacific Highway has been undergoing an extensive upgrade, to double its capacity and reduce travel times between Sydney and Brisbane. We’ve helped to complete one of the last pieces in New South Wales’s vital new link into Queensland.

The northern NSW coastline is a magnet for holidaymakers and those escaping the city thanks to its lush landscapes and year-round sunshine.

Until now the only way to reach it from Sydney was along the Pacific Highway - a two-lane, heavily-trafficked route stretching to the Southern Queensland border and Brisbane. Traffic accidents occurred all too often, and disgruntled drivers were held up by long delays.

That is until the NSW Government announced that the entire Pacific Highway would be upgraded to four lanes (two in each direction) – one of the largest ever road infrastructure projects undertaken in the State. Engineers and contractors have been upgrading this vital highway section by section since 1996, and it’s now complete.

The $4.35 billion, 155km final stretch is between Woolgoolga and Ballina, and we’ve worked with our joint venture partner Arcadis to design the 29km section between Maclean and Devils Pulpit.

It wasn’t without its challenges – this section traverses an environmentally sensitive area of northern New South Wales, where there’s a large flood plain adjacent to the Clarence River and the ground is soft. We assembled a diverse and specialist team of geotechnical, structural and road design engineers from across our various offices and regions to produce a design that is robust yet sensitive to the location and could be delivered within a tight timeframe.

Now, with all but the Coffs Harbour Bypass complete, motorists heading to the north coast are enjoying a much smoother, faster journey on this stunning new highway!

Image Credit: NSW Government, 2021

$450m

Project Value

29 KM

Duplicated highway

25

New highway bridges

Aerial shot of bridge over Clarence River, as part of Pacific Highway Upgrade - Woolgoolga to Ballina, Portion B.
Aerial shot of Pacific Highway Upgrade - Woolgoolga to Ballina, Portion B.
Aerial shot of interchange as part of Pacific Highway Upgrade - Woolgoolga to Ballina, Portion B.
Aerial shot of bridge over Clarence River, as part of Pacific Highway Upgrade - Woolgoolga to Ballina, Portion B.

Our People

Brett Disley

Senior Associate - Civil Engineering

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Stephen Lee

Technical Director - Civil Structural Engineering

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Ted Polley

Technical Director - Structural Engineering

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