Australia has opened the Mountain Park Steel Truss Bridge, the first of 12 planned bridges on the Bulahdelah Bypass in New South Wales.

The Mountain Park Bridge is part of the 8.5km four-lane Bulahdelah Bypass project, which will duplicate the Pacific Highway to reduce traffic congestion and passenger safety.

NSW Myall Lakes member Stephen Bromhead said: "The Bulahdelah Bypass project will upgrade the road to motorway standard, construct twelve bridges, including twin bridges over the Myall River and build two lanes in each direction."

The federal government of Australia and the state government of New South Wales have committed $303.6m and $11.4m respectively to the $315m Bulahdelah Bypass.

Paterson Duty Senator Matt Thistlethwaite said the Pacific Highway duplication will vastly improve safety, travel and transport efficiency, as well as save time and maintenance costs for road users.

"The 8.5km four-lane Bulahdelah Bypass is a significant part of this upgrade; in recent years, traffic volumes on this section of the highway have increased substantially and the safety record has become unacceptable," Thistlethwaite added.

"At the moment the highway passes through Bulahdelah and divides the town. The Bypass will change all that and will reduce the conflict between local and through traffic, bringing down congestion, especially during holiday periods."