How the $1.2 billion Coffs Harbour Bypass will look.
How the $1.2 billion Coffs Harbour Bypass will look.

COFFS BYPASS: Holding to a 2020 start date

Transport NSW is sticking by its claim that construction on the Coffs Bypass will start this year.

The project is yet to be put out to tender and only 60 per cent of the properties along the 14km route have been acquired.

But a Transport NSW representative insists the project is on track.

"Early construction activities for the $1.8 billion bypass of the Coffs Harbour CBD are planned to start by the end of 2020 and major construction is expected to take about five years to complete, weather permitting."

The representative would not elaborate on what that 'early construction' work would be.

"This is all the information we have available at this time."

RELATED:

Old front page a stark reminder of just how long we have waited for a bypass

Expectations for 2020 start date are fading

In relation to tenders Transport NSW is in the process of finalising a procurement strategy to select a proponent to build the bypass.

BYPASS: An artist's impression of the Coffs bypass, which is close to many heritage-sensitive Aboriginal sites.
BYPASS: An artist's impression of the Coffs bypass, which is close to many heritage-sensitive Aboriginal sites.

"Before tenders are advertised, the community and industry will be briefed on the procurement strategy and the community, as always, will be kept informed as the project progresses."

Transport NSW has confirmed that the procurement strategy reflects the EIS and Amendment Report proposal which includes an application to build the Coffs Harbour bypass based on a lower road height, reduced grade, low noise pavement and three sets of tunnels.

The inclusion of three tunnels at Roberts Hill, north of Shephards Lane and west of Gatelys Road will be a key requirement under the contract to the deliver the project.

"Well we can bottle that bit of information," Bypass Action Group representative Rod McKelvey said.

Coffs Harbour Bypass
Coffs Harbour Bypass

The Bypass Action Group, in collaboration with Coffs Harbour City Council, fought a long campaign calling for the reinstatement of tunnels in the build.

For years the community had been expecting tunnels until shocked by the release of a Preferred Concept Design in September 2018 showing cuttings.

It was considered a huge win for people power when the EIS was released in September last year showing tunnels.

The project, jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments, will bypass 12 sets of traffic lights, remove about 12,000 vehicles from the CBD and save more than 10 minutes in travel time.

It is one of the last major sections along the Pacific Highway upgrade to be completed.