THE Banora Point Pacific Highway Upgrade is nearing completion and one of the most eagerly awaited sections, the northbound off-ramp leading traffic to the retail centres in Tweed Heads South, opened at the weekend.
Businesses located at Tweed City Shopping Centre, Tweed Hub (formerly known as the Homemaker Centre) and along Minjungbal Dr experienced a drop in turnover since work on the upgrade started and a number of lanes leading to the retail centres were closed.
The new off-ramp means the ease of access to various businesses along Minjungbal Dr has been re-established, allowing motorists to approach Minjungbal Dr without delays.
Good Guys owner Rory Curtis said store staff, motorists and shoppers welcomed the new off-ramp which had relieved some of the congestion along Sexton Hill Dr.
Mr Curtis said yellow signage indicating the distance from the new Pacific Hwy to the Tweed Heads South retail areas was effective, however, Roads and Maritime Services indicated the signs would be temporary.
"Businesses want to see the yellow signage remain permanently," Mr Curtis said.
People who were unfamiliar with the area could easily pass the exit without realising they had just passed the turn-off to the retail precincts along Minjungbal Dr and would not be able to turn around until Kennedy Dr.
"The signs are really necessary," Mr Curtis said.
Hungry Jacks owner Matthew Fraser said he was pleased to see the off ramp completed, however, there was still some work to be done on the local roads.
Mr Fraser said the current situation still affected business but he hoped residents would return to the retail area once work on local roads was finished.
Last weekend, speed limit changes on the Pacific Hwy, were also implemented with the limit between the southern end of Barney's Point Bridge and the southern end of the Tweed Heads bypass increased to 100kmh.
The 110kmh speed limit for southbound traffic, south of Barney's Point Bridge, has also been reinstated.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said "the changes will better reflect the road conditions after completion of the Banora Point upgrade".
"The upgrade provides road safety benefits to residents and road users."
Roadside warning signs to advise motorists of the changes will remain in place for at least a week after the new speed limit signs have been installed and people interested in having their say about the speed limits can do so at rms.nsw.gov.au.
RMS was not able to confirm the exact date of completion and stuck to its "end of year" prediction.