The new bridge crossing at Harwood as part of Pacific Highway Ballina to Woolgoolga upgrade.
The new bridge crossing at Harwood as part of Pacific Highway Ballina to Woolgoolga upgrade.

Who is working on the Pacific Highway upgrade?

A LOT of effort goes into upgrading a highway, and the 2685 people working on the Pacific Highway upgrade between Ballina and Woolgoolga have been working hard for more than four years now.

With 85 per cent Pacific Highway upgrade now completed, a new report reveals the breakdown of the thousands of workers involved in the $4.9 billion project.

The 155km four-lane upgrade began in 2015 and was expected to be completed sometime this year.

The NSW Government has released its findings following a survey of the 2018 workforce profile on the highway project, where 1051 workers (39.1 per cent) completed the survey.

The survey found 44 per cent of participants have been involved with the project for more than a year.

More men than women were involved in the upgrade, with 79.3 per cent of the workforce being made up of men and 18.1 per cent were women.

The majority of the workers were aged between 30-39 years (29.8 per cent), shortly followed by workers aged 40-49 (26.5 per cent) and 20-29 (22.9 per cent).

The length of the project has meant 62.1 per cent of the workforce have relocated to the area from more than 100km away, while just under half (48.9 per cent) of workers consider themselves to be local.

Yamba seems to be the place of choice to set up residence, with 20.7 per cent of workers living in the seaside town, 18.8 per cent live in Ballina and 18.7 per cent in Grafton.

The highway workers were also pumping a steady flow of money into the region.

Survey participants stated their estimated weekly spend in the region, excluding rent and bills 41.6 per cent spending between $200 and $349 per week, 29.9 per cent reported spending between $350 and up to or more than $500 per week, while 28.3 per cent indicated they spend less than $199 per week.