The Byron Bay Bypass project has reached its next two major construction milestones simultaneously, with work on Stages 2 and 3 now underway.
Meanwhile, Stage 1, extending from Shirley Street to Glen Villa, is now in the final stages of construction.
“The Byron Bay bypass project has been in the pipeline for more than 30 years and it’s great to see the progress that’s been made in recent weeks,” General Manager Mark Arnold said.
“We know the majority of our residents and businesses are looking forward to a smoother commute between the north and south of Byron Bay, with the bypass allowing them to avoid heavy traffic on Jonson Street,” he said.
“We have always acknowledged that the bypass will not be the silver bullet solution to the town’s traffic woes.
It is, however, a critical piece of infrastructure that will contribute to improved traffic flow through town and allow for more pedestrian-friendly initiatives in the Byron Bay town centre,” he said.
Preliminary works for Stage 2, including vegetation clearing and mulching and the establishment of a rock working platform, are now complete.
“The environmental management protocols for this project have been meticulous. Our environmental management throughout the initial Stage 2 works has been meticulous.
Each night, prior to clearing, independent ecologists undertook surveys for the Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail and these surveys were repeated the next day before clearing work started.
A total of 140 snails were found and they were all removed from the site to suitable habitat outside the construction zone,” Mr Arnold said.
In addition to the existing Biobanking offsets for the project, Byron Shire Council has resolved to allocate an additional $81,700 towards bush regeneration works at Sunrise, Butler Street Reserve and Midgen Swamp.
“This demonstrates Council’s commitment to going above and beyond what is required by legislation when it comes to environmental matters on this project,” Mr Arnold said.
Works to install underground power lines in the Stage 3 construction zone have started at the Jonson and Browning Street intersection.
Local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin said the bypass will help reduce traffic congestion and improve the liveability of the town.
“I am really proud that the NSW Government is supporting Council in delivering this much needed project with a $20 million funding boost.
“We’re also funding the creation of a new transport interchange on Butler Street under a separate program that will remove the majority of buses from the CBD and provide further congestion relief.
“It’s part of our commitment to targeted infrastructures that make our regional communities more attractive places to live and do business.”
“We are pleased to see the progress being made on the project and look forward to the improvements it will make to the road network,” said Transport for NSW Director Region North Anna Zycki.
Mr Arnold said in these challenging times, we are thankful the NSW Government is offering a supportive environment for the construction industry.
“We welcome the new planning orders which will allow us to extend our working hours over weekends where required without additional consents to allow for effective social distancing on site,” General Manager Mark Arnold said.
The NSW Government is investing $20 million in the Byron Bay bypass project, including $9.5 million from the Restart NSW Growing Local Economies Fund, alongside Council’s contribution of $4 million to the project.