Community feedback has shaped key changes to the design of the Coffs Harbour Bypass which will improve safety and traffic flow at key interchanges along the route.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the changes were in response to the feedback received as part of the community consultation of the Environmental Impact Statement.
“These changes are an important part of the process as we work toward delivering a once in a generation infrastructure project for the Coffs Harbour region,” Mr McCormack said.
“This huge infrastructure project is expected to support around 12,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the project, boosting the local economy and getting people to where they need to be sooner and safer.
“We are able to deliver projects such as this one thanks to the Liberals and Nationals in Government working together.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the revised design was now on public display and the local community was invited to have a further say.
“You only get one chance at a project of this scale so it’s important we get this right from the very beginning,” Mr Toole said.
“The fact that we have been able to make the changes the community wants to see is critical.
“The Coffs Harbour bypass will be a game changer for the region, as it will give local streets back to the local community.
“It will eliminate 12 sets of traffic lights along the existing Pacific Highway and remove up to 12,000 vehicles a day from the CBD.”
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the project would help bring more tourism to the region.
“The Coffs Harbour Bypass is in addition to the Pacific Highway upgrade, which is due to be completed next year,” Mr Conaghan said.
“More than 82 per cent of the Pacific Highway has already been upgraded between the Queensland border and Hexham. Once the entire project is complete, motorists will save up to 2.5 hours from a road trip along the North Coast, giving them extra time to visit our tourist attractions, cafés and restaurants.”
NSW Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the EIS for the refined design, which includes three tunnels and lower noise pavement along the route, had been positively received by the public.
“We have been in the community, seeking their feedback and the response has been really positive. We have taken on a number of suggestions and been able to refine the design to meet those concerns,” Mr Singh said.
“I am really confident that with these changes we’ll be able to lock in the design and get moving on early works. The community just wants us to get on and get it done, so that’s what we are doing.”
The revised designs include changes to Englands Road and Korora Hill Interchange to make them smoother and more easily navigable and improvements to the bus stop on Coramba Road and the bus interchange at Kororo Public School to ensure the safety of pedestrians and the smooth flow of traffic.
Community consultation on the refined designs will be open from 27 November to Friday 13 December and the project team will be available to speak to community members at two pop-up stalls throughout the consultation period. This further public consultation period follows the original EIS exhibition period held from 11 September to 27 October 2019.
A final concept design is expected to be submitted to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in mid-2020, after which the project should proceed to the construction phase.