Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a firsthand look at the Pacific Highway upgrade progress on September 18.
One lane in each direction is open on the Kundabung to Kempsey stretch of the upgrade.
The 14 kilometre stretch is on track to be fully open to traffic in about four to six weeks.
The Barrys Creek rest area is officially open.
The Prime Minister was briefed on progress and met with workers during a visit to the Barrys Creek rest area.
Work continues on the Oxley Highway to Kundabung stretch with the section from the Oxley Highway to Haydons Wharf Road expected to open by the end of next month, subject to favourable weather.
The remainder of the Oxley Highway to Kundabung duplication is expected to open early in 2018.
Mr Turnbull said the Pacific Highway upgrade was life changing and life saving.
Mr Turnbull said the Pacific Highway duplication, which would be completed by 2020, had the impact over time of reducing travel time from Hexham to the border.
Crashes and fatalities have decreased.
“You can see that trend of accidents is coming down, of fatalities is coming down,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We want to get it to zero – that’s the target.”
The year 2020 is the completion target for the highway duplication between Hexham and the Queensland border.
The Pacific Highway upgrade has created thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
Mr Turnbull acknowledged the partnership between the federal government and state government to fund the Pacific Highway upgrade.
The official party at the Barrys Creek rest area included Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker, and NSW Roads Minister and Oxley MP Melinda Pavey.
Mrs Pavey said the Pacific Highway upgrade was transforming our region and transforming local lives.
She said the upgrade was having a significant impact on safety and efficiency, and was bringing Mid-North Coast communities together.
Mrs Pavey said she would be working, as would the Cowper MP, to ensure the region got new industry and jobs.
Mr Hartsuyker said we were seeing safer motoring, shorter travel times and increased connections for regional and rural Australia.
“It is a boon for towns along the route,” he said about the Pacific Highway upgrade.