The long awaited Byron Bay Bypass got the ‘go ahead’ today with a $10.5 million funding commitment from the NSW State Government.
The announcement was made today by the Acting Premier and Minister for the North Coast Andrew Stoner, Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay, Member for Ballina Don Page and Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson.
Mayor Simon Richardson said it was a once in a generation funding announcement and he thanked the state government for stepping up and supporting our town.
“Don Page has been a strong support in securing the funding and we thank him for his unwavering community voice on the bypass.
“A small town with 10,000 people, that is one of the most visited places in Australia behind Sydney and Melbourne, clearly cannot work alone or undertake an infrastructure project of this size without financial support from the state.
“To Council’s credit we’ve been looking at ways to say ‘yes’ and work collaboratively with the state government for community outcomes and today is a solid achievement.”
Whilst enthusiastic about the new infrastructure, Mayor Richardson acknowledged that the bypass won’t solve all of Byron Bay’s traffic problems as there is only one main road in and out of the northern end of the coastal town.
“But it is a crucial component to help relieve some of the traffic pain our locals endure on a regular basis,” he said,
“The bypass will also help those who work in the industrial estate and Suffolk Park, plus the police and emergency services, move more freely across town.”
GHD Pty Ltd have been appointed to undertake the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and detailed design for the Byron Bay Bypass.
The detailed design will include such items as ecological and flood assessments, noise, stormwater, landscaping, pedestrian and cycling, lighting, rail crossing and intersection designs. This pre construction work is expected to be completed by mid-2015.
Member for Ballina Don Page said traffic congestion must be reduced and he thanked the State Government for contributing $10.5 million towards that objective.
“When it became obvious that Council could not afford to alleviate the local traffic problems I supported the Council’s request for State Government financial assistance, given the traffic congestion that both tourists and locals have to endure,” Mr Page said.
“The Byron Bay community has a wonderful opportunity to secure a road network its people and businesses deserve.”
The community is urged to sign up to Byron Shire Council’s electronic newsletter to keep up to date on the project at: www.byron.nsw.gov.au/projects/byron-bay-bypass .