It’s been a milestone over 30 years in the making and today the Byron Bay Bypass project officially opened to traffic.
NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Energy and Arts, Ben Franklin MLC unveiled the plaque, cut the ribbon and declared the new section of road open in Byron Bay today.
“The NSW Government are building a safe, stronger Regional NSW and it’s incredibly exciting to be here today allowing traffic on the new road for the first time,” Mr Franklin said.
“No longer will locals have to queue on Jonson Street to get across town, the Bypass will offer a more efficient route to connect the eastern and western suburbs of Byron Bay,” he said.
Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson joined Mr Franklin in a 1977 Bay Kombi van, to do an official first lap of the new road.
“The Byron Bay Bypass project is the largest infrastructure project that Byron Shire Council has ever delivered,” Mayor Richardson said.
“It is important to recognise the project is comprised of far more than just a new road,” Mayor Richardson said.
“Some of the major construction achievements also include three new roundabouts and almost 2 kilometres of new shared path and footpath. The new shared path now means our residents can cycle and walk safely between Suffolk Park and the industrial estate,” he said.
Commencing in July 2019, the project was delivered across four construction stages.
Further construction achievements include
- 1 upgraded roundabout at Shirley/Butler/Jonson
- 1.2 kms of new road construction
- 250 m of road renewal/resurfacing
- Increased road width by 6-10m on average
- Increased size of the Butler Street drain and formalised drainage to Belongil Creek
- Construction of a pedestrian footbridge on Butler Street
- 12 safer crossing points
- 2.3 kms on-road cycleway
- Noise mitigation works at 19 properties
- Construction of a 200m noise wall
“As well as renewed and improved infrastructure, the Bypass project has delivered a number of positive environmental outcomes,” Ben Franklin MLC said.
“While 1.5 hectares of vegetation was impacted to construct Stage 2 of the project, an additional 44.5 hectares of similar vegetation is now protected in perpetuity as a result of two approved Biobanking agreements at Lilli Pilli and Wallum Place,” Mr Franklin said.
“Council has always been committed to going above and beyond on environmental matters, which is why we’ve also invested $81,700 towards the regeneration of 17.5 hectares of potential Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail habitat at Sunrise Boulevard Bushland, Butler Street Reserve and Midgen Swamp Reserve in Suffolk Park,” Mayor Simon Richardson said.
As part of the project, a number of additional environmental outcomes were achieved including:
- 10,068 new shrubs and trees planted
- 900 metres of new fauna protection fencing
- Installation of a fauna underpass
- 840 meters of bioswales to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff into the wetlands
- 230 research hours (pre and post clearing surveys) providing a valuable scientific contribution to knowledge on the Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail. It was deemed highly likely based on the findings that the actual number of MRS in the area was larger than the previously researched and assumed number.
Council has conducted pre-Bypass traffic modelling, and will commence post-Bypass traffic modelling in the coming months.
The Byron Bay Bypass project has been proudly fully funded by the NSW Government ($20 million including funding from Growing Local Economies) and $4 million from Byron Shire Council.