Kempsey Shire Council has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council for the delivery and governance of the project to seal Maria River Road.
In a report tabled at Tuesday's council meeting, an update on the proposed delivery and project governance arrangements agreed between Kempsey Shire Council (KSC) and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) was discussed by councillors.
Mayor Liz Campbell said this project highlighted how councils can work together to deliver for the community.
"This project is one that was outlined in our four year delivery plan for this term of council," she said.
"It's a great example of two councils working together, not just for our shire, but for the whole region. It just shows that we really are better together."
In the lead up to the March 2019 State Election, a $17 million commitment was made by the Liberal/Nationals Coalition to upgrade Maria River Rd if re-elected.
Following the election, in December 2019, a joint funding application under the newly announced Fixing Local Roads funding program was made to access the committed funding. On 9 July 2020 the State Government announced this application was successful in securing the $17 million for the upgrade.
Following the grant funding announcement, KSC and PMHC executive staff initiated discussions regarding establishing a preferred delivery model for the project.
In consideration of the scale of the capital works program and project delivery capabilities available at PMHC, it was discussed and agreed that PMHC would lead the delivery of the project as a single scope of works across both LGA's.
"Port Macquarie-Hastings Council have the responsibility of delivering the project," Mayor Campbell said at Tuesday's meeting.
Councillor Anthony Patterson said the project completion will benefit both Port Macquarie and Crescent Head.
"The tarring will bring positive benefits in both directions and will help ensure the safety of road users," he said.
"It's fantastic that we are entering this agreement with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to deliver the project."
Council also noted that design and investigation work will start in 2020-21, with the construction phase anticipated to commence in the 2021-22 Financial Year.