Construction work has begun on the 14.5km Pacific Highway bypass project in Kempsey, Australia.

The $618m bypass road project is part of a $3.1bn capital works programme that is constructing almost 100km of new road.

The new Kempsey bypass is scheduled to be completed in mid 2014, and will transport up to 2,000 trucks a day, according to

The second part of the project will involve construction of the bridges over the Macleay River and the nearby floodplain.

Work on the bridges may begin in 2011.