Mayor Peta Pinson hopes 2018 marks the start of work on the long-awaited Ocean Drive upgrade.
The 3.4 kilometre upgrade between Greenmeadows Drive (south) and Emerald Drive is planned and costed.
The construction timing comes back to funding.
“It’s about what portion of the community’s finances [through council] are going to be attributed to it and how much the state is going to assist in realising the asset for the community,” Cr Pinson said.
“I would like to see this year that we get the [first] sod turned and we get on with making it a reality.”
Preliminary council budget discussions have started.
Those discussions will resume shortly.
A draft 2018-2019 council budget will go on exhibition before its adoption.
The state government has contributed $10 million for the project.
The council spent some of that money on design and pre-construction approvals while the remainder will contribute to construction.
However, more funds are needed.
The council now estimates the construction cost at $60 million.
Cr Pinson said the project had been delayed for too many years.
New developments in the Crestwood area and the Camden Haven will funnel more traffic onto Ocean Drive.
“The pressure that is put on that section of road is increasing day by day as people move into those areas,” Cr Pinson said.
“We can’t sit back and wait any longer. We need to have a plan, work to that plan and get that project delivered.
“I trust that the community has elected all councillors to have their best interest at heart and see this great community project be delivered.”
Cr Pinson said the council could not complete the project without a partnership with the state government.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams remains committed to the upgrade.
“The NSW Government committed $10 million to the project in 2011 and some of this money has already been spent on planning and design works,” she said.
Mrs Williams recently arranged for a council delegation to meet with Roads Minister Melinda Pavey about further funding options from the state government.
“The expected cost of the duplication is $60 million and council must determine how much they are prepared to contribute to this local road project,” Mrs Williams said.
“I urge councillors to make that decision as quickly as possible.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with both council and the Minister for Roads to ensure this desperately needed improvement to our local road network gets underway.”
The project will upgrade a 3.4km stretch of Ocean Drive in Port Macquarie from two lanes to four lanes.
That stretch becomes a traffic pinch point at peak times.
Cr Pinson said while the substantial project would create inconvenience during construction, it would provide motorists with a much more comfortable ride through that area as well as less delays.
“That chokehold will be removed,” she said.
“This is a project our community should look forward to in the future.”
A construction program has yet to be set.