IT'S THE news mountain motorists have been waiting for.
The crucial Oxley Highway link between Port Macquarie and Walcha/Tamworth is back open to traffic after months of flood repair work.
The section of highway between Mount Seaview Rd and Gingers Creek Roadhouse (Stockyard Creek rest area) has been closed since the severe weather event in March.
Up to 30 workers have been on site daily in the effort to re-open the road with five sections of the highway still operating as single lane with alternating flow and controlled by traffic lights.
"Opening the missing link in this vital transport route is a major milestone - and crews will now be focusing on getting the highway back to its pre-flood condition," Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said.
"Locals, farmers, freight and tourism have all been affected by the devastating landslips which closed the Oxley Highway to traffic after more than 70 landslips earlier this year, including 10 locations which suffered serious damage."
Heavy machinery was brought in to haul tonnes of material away, including rocks and fallen trees.
NSW Transport has stabilised the slips, including 'soil nailing' which involves pinning the soil and vegetation back to rock. These long steel 'nails' together with steel mesh and a concrete facing are very effective at stabilising steep unstable slopes.
"As the larger slopes will require detailed investigation and design, we expect that they will take a longer time to restore to provide improved resilience for future events. I will continue to keep the community updated as we progress work," Mrs Pavey said.
Transport for NSW regional director Anna Zycki said the Oxley Highway was built decades ago and not to the standards a road would be completed if built today.
"This large storm event has certainly been one of the biggest we've ever seen in the northern region of NSW."
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