Section: Korora

View of the newly opened Korora Deviation in 1971. This section has since been duplicated. (DMR)

This 2km section of the Pacific Highway basically encompasses the Korora Deviation, which was constructed to bypass what is now James Small Drive from 1969 to 1971. It was constructed as part of a general reconstruction programme of the highway north of Coffs Harbour which had begun in the mid-1960s and culminated with a deviation at Corindi Beach in 1980.

During 1970 the length of the highway between Coffs Harbour and Grafton was proclaimed a motorway under section 27b of the Main Roads Act. Basically what this entails is that the land is now under the control of the Commissioner of Main Roads (now the Chief Executive Officer of the RTA) and access to the motorway is limited to specific points. In 1970 these specific points were generally limited to one access per lot or portion of land.

The reconstruction programme which followed was generally undertaken along the existing line of the highway, with a number of minor deviations to improve the alignment. The highway was reconstructed as a high-standard single carriageway and sufficient land was acquired to permit the construction of a second carriageway along the eastern side of the highway when the need arose.

At Korora Hill the existing highway was characterised by narrow pavement and a winding alignment, as well as passing right by Korora Primary School . To rectify these problems, the highway was relocated around the west side of Korora Hill, involving a large cutting and the provision of a pedestrian overbridge to allow access to-from the school. Grades were kept to a maximum of 6%, however climbing lanes were provided where the grades exceeded 4%.

As part of the Pacific Highway Upgrading Programme, launched in September 1996, an upgrade of the highway at Korora Hill was funded by the Federal Government. It involved the duplication of the highway for 1.5km, the provision of a new footbridge and bus bays outside Korora Primary School and noise abatement measures along the entire length. Construction was commenced in January 1997 and was completed at a cost of $7.8 million - opening to traffic on 15 December 1997 . The new footbridge outside Korora Primary School was named Luke Bowen Footbridge after a local school student who was involved in a tragic accident the day prior to opening of the footbridge in September 1997.

As part of the Coffs Harbour Highway Planning project, a proposed bypass of Coffs Harbour will rejoin the existing highway at Korora Hill. Earlier proposals for a far western bypass which would rejoin the current highway further north at Arrawarra or even Halfway Creek would have seen Korora Hill bypassed permanently but those proposals have officially been abandoned.

Current route of Pacific Highway
Looking north at the southern end of the Korora Deviation. To the left is Bruxner Park Rd and to the right is James Small Drive which is, of course, the original route of the Pacific Highway. Nov 2005.
Heading south to the southern end of the Korora Deviation. Aug 2004.
Looking north to the footbridge outside Korora Primary School. Note the school bus bays on either side of the highway. Nov 2005.
Looking north to PineBrush Creek. To the left is Korora Basin Rd, which leads into Old Coast Rd which is the original route of the Pacific Hwy (bypassed 1932) - to the right is Korora School Rd which is also part of the alignment bypassed in 1932. Nov 2005.
Heading south at the northern end of the Korora Deviation. This sign has since been replaced by one with an alpha-numeric route marker beneath a coverplate. Aug 2004.
Old Pacific Hwy (James Small Drive)
Looking south along James Small Drive. As you can see the road is quite narrow and winding, one of the reasons it was bypassed in 1971. Nov 2005.
Looking south along James Small Drive, near Korora Primary School. Nov 2005.
Looking south across Pine Brusch Creek on James Small Drive. Nov 2005.

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