Vote on your favourite design for highway markers

RESIDENTS of Moorland, Johns River and Kew are being invited to vote on design suggestions for special markers on the upgraded Pacific Highway, which indicate the entrances to their villages.

The special signs or markers would indicate the gateways to the now bypassed villages, similar to those at the Harrington and Coopernook Road intersections.

State minister for roads and ports, Duncan Gay, announced the Moorland, Johns River and Kew projects yesterday as he visited Port Macquarie electorate in company with the local member, Leslie Williams.

Roads and Maritime Services has been working with the three local communities to develop location markers to identify towns bypassed in 2010 as part of the Coopernook to Herons Creek Pacific Highway upgrade, Mr Gay said. 

RMS in consultation with the community has identified six general themes which best represent the towns.

The minister urged the community to vote on which themes they thought were best for their town. Voting forms are being distributed in Moorland, Kew and Johns River. The community can email the form back to pacific.highway@rms.nsw.gov.au, mail to Reply Paid 546, Grafton NSW 2467 or visit the project website and fill out the electronic form. 

Voting closes on October 19 and RMS will announce the most popular image for each sign soon after voting closes. Installation is planned to start in early 2013. 

Mr Gay and Mrs Williams also yesterday visited two rest stop sites proposed south of Johns River on the old Pacific Highway, and on Johns River Road. 

Mr Gay said $400,000 of state and federal government funding had been earmarked subject to community consultation for the proposed southbound truck rest area on the old Pacific Highway south of Johns River, as well as a light vehicle rest area with a truck/bus bay in Johns River on Johns River Road. 

The Coopernook to Herons Creek highway upgrade project was originally designed with two rest areas but they were deferred due to funding restraints, he said.

“Since then Leslie Williams has been banging on my door demanding funding on behalf of her local community, which is why I’m so pleased to be here today making this announcement. 

“Johns River Community Progress Association submitted a proposal to improve the light vehicle parking area in Johns River on John River Road. The proposal includes a bus/truck short term parking bay and other facilities. 

“In addition, heavy vehicles are already using the old highway just south of Johns River for informal parking and an upgraded rest area has been proposed.”

Mr Gay said community consultation is being carried out to collect feedback on the proposal for both areas. If the proposal is approved, the final design and building will be carried out by Greater Taree City Council. 

Mr Gay also announced yesterday that RMS would begin improvements next month on the Pacific Highway south of Port Macquarie. 

It will involve road strengthening along a two kilometre southbound section of highway near Houston Mitchell Drive, south of the Oxley Highway intersection.

The $5 million NSW government funded improvement work will involve using foam bitumen to stabilise the existing road, road drainage improvements and road resurfacing.

Mr Gay said Mrs Williams has pressed home the point that the Pacific highway upgrades are just one part of the puzzle “and we need to ensure the overall road is kept in good condition”. 

Southbound traffic will be diverted to the northbound lanes while the work is carried out and contra flow arrangements will be in place. The existing Pacific Highway intersections at Burrawan Forest and Ryans roads and Houston Mitchell Drive will also need to be modified as part of the work to suit the contra flow conditions.

The temporary movement of traffic onto the northbound road is scheduled for late October and the road improvement work will start immediately after. 

Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of November, weather permitting, Mr Gay said.

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