The Australian and New South Wales governments jointly funded the upgrade of the 145 kilometre section of the Pacific Highway.
This highway upgrade was built in multiple sections with 105 kilometres opening to traffic progressively between 2016 and 2018.
A number of towns have been bypassed as part of the Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour upgrade. Bypassing towns reduces travelling pinch points by diverting the major highway around a town, and takes the flow of 'through' traffic away from the town. Some of the town bypasses for this highway upgrade include Kempsey, Macksville and Urunga.
The benefits for these towns has been removing some traffic congestion in the town, reducing noise and vibration and improving road safety, making the town centre more attractive to visitors.
Since opening to traffic this highway upgrade has improved connectivity between coastal towns and regional centres. There has been improved travel efficiency with reduced travel times between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour estimated to be saving more than 30 minutes. The greatest benefit has been the significant reduction in serious and fatal road crashes.