Section: Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush

Looking north across the Wallamba River at Nabiac. Aug 2004.

This 10km section of the Pacific Highway was not part of the original route of the highway. The Government Gazette of 22 August 1952 made official a change in route of the Pacific Highway , routing it through Karuah, Bulahdelah and Nabiac, rather than via what is now Bucketts Way . The new route made use of existing roads where possible which would be upgraded to highway standard over the next eleven years.

A developmental road had been constructed between Bulahdelah and Nabiac via Wootton as unemployment relief in 1940. This upgraded road connected with a road that had existed prior to 1952 between Taree and Nabiac.

Initially no bridge was provided across the Wallamba River at Nabiac - traffic crossed the river by way of a causeway. The Department of Main Roads began upgrading this road in 1955 and only minor improvements to the alignment were needed before it was sealed and opened to traffic in June 1957. However, traffic still used the causeway crossing until a two-lane steel truss bridge was completed in February 1959.

Following the initial construction of the new highway route, further improvements were made between 12 Mile Creek and Taree. At Nabiac, where the highway passed through the centre of town along Clarkson Street , a deviation was constructed during the early 1960s to relocate the highway around the northwestern side of town. The deviation involved a tight corner where it crossed a watercourse just to the north of Nabiac Street. By 1979 the pavement had failed so badly that Department of Main Roads had to rehabilitate 2km of “stressed” pavement. Despite this rehabilitation, the pavement is typically dodgy through Nabiac.

Planning for the upgrading of this section of the highway was commenced in 1997, culminating in the release of an Environmental Impact Statement in October 2001. However extensive community response to the project meant it was not until April 2004 that the contract was let for construction - which is underway now. Key features of the project include new bridges over the Wallamba River , an overpass for east-west traffic in Nabiac and realignments near Possum Brush Creek and Glen Ora Road. Completion of the project is expected in mid-2006.

Looking north just north of Bundacree Creek, showing construction of dual carriageways on an improved alignment. Nov 2005.
Looking south along a section of the future northbound carriageway near Bundacree Creek. Note the seemingly steep grade in the background. Nov 2005.
Southbound view between Glen Ora Rd and Bundacree Creek prior to the commencement of roadworks. Aug 2004.
Contrasting horizontal and vertical alignments of the temporary highway and the future northbound carriageway, south of Glen Ora Rd. Oct 2005.
Looking south, south of Glen Ora Rd, showing highway traffic detoured around a small cutting. Oct 2005.
Transition from the old pavement to a section of what will utlimately become the northbound carriageway, between Wallamba River and Minimbah Rd. Nov 2005.
Looking north across the Wallamba River at Nabiac with the construction of two new bridges underway on the eastern side of the current bridge, built in 1957-59. Nov 2005.
Looking south between Nabiac St and Clarkson St in Nabiac, showing construction of the grade-separated interchange. Oct 2005.
Similar view to the above photos, this time showing badly deteriorated pavement prior to construction of the overpass. Aug 2004.
AD sign northbound for Wallanbah Rd. Note the incorrect State Route 90 shield - Wallanbah Rd is Main Road No. 90. Aug 2004.
Looking east to the Pacific Hwy on Wallanbah Rd. This view will be dramatically changed with the construction of a grade-separated interchange where it crosses the highway into Nabiac Street. Aug 2004.
Looking southwest along Clarkson Street (Pacific Hwy from 1952 to the early 1960s) in Nabiac. Nov 2005.
Looking southwest along Clarkson St (Pacific Hwy from 1952 to the early 1960s) to the intersection with Nabiac St. Nov 2005.
Looking south at the tight corner on approach to Wallanbah Rd/Nabiac St intersection. Nov 2005.
Distance heading north from Wallanbah Rd/Nabiac St in a very poor location for photography. Nov 2005.
Looking northeast along the deviation around Nabiac town centre. Nov 2005.
Heading north on the deviation around Nabiac town centre, showing transition from 70km/h to 90km/h. Aug 2004.
Badly deteriorated pavement on the northern approach to Nabiac. Oct 2005.
Looking south between Pipe Clay Ck Rd and Nabiac. Nov 2005.
Construction underway looking south between Pipe Clay Ck Rd and Nabiac. Oct 2005.
Looking south along a section of future northbound carriageway between Failford Rd and Pipe Clay Ck Rd. Oct 2005.
Looking south at Failford Rd with the dual carriageways temporary in single carriageway operation to allow for construction of the Bundacree Creek-Possum Brush Upgrade. Oct 2005.

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