Planning approval received
The Coffs Harbour bypass project has received planning approval from the NSW Minister of Planning and Public Spaces and the Federal Minister for the Environment. The inclusion of tunnels in the project means a better outcome for the environment, and the people of Coffs Harbour. The project is now full steam ahead with early work activities starting. Geotechnical investigations and survey work will also continue into the new year.
The Conditions of Approval (CoAs) include requirements for reducing noise impacts during and after construction, preserving threatened species and increasing habitat and connectivity, especially for koalas. The CoAs also outlines measures for managing Aboriginal heritage, soils and contamination, traffic and transport and water quality impacts. Click here to view the CoAs.
Early works starting
Early work for the Coffs Harbour bypass involves minor work along various locations of the project. Depending on the scope of the early work, it could take between six to eighteen months. Some of the early work starting includes water main, electrical and telecommunications relocations, consultation with property owners identified in the Amendment Report eligible for at-house noise treatment, construction of the new Solitary RFS shed, archaeological salvage, monitoring ground and surface water, and the relocation threatened flora. Click here for early work information.
Find out more about the Coffs Harbour bypass early works here
Information about potential road traffic noise impacts
The impacts of noise, both operational and construction, are of major concern to the Coffs Harbour community. FAQs have been developed to provide information about potential road traffic noise impacts as part of the Coffs Harbour bypass project. They include information about noise criteria, noise modelling, noise guidelines and the at-house noise treatment process. Click here to download the FAQs
The preferred route
The preferred route for the Coffs Harbour bypass was confirmed in 2004 and provides a four lane divided motorway standard road from Englands Road in the south and connects with the newly upgraded Sapphire to Woolgoolga section in the north. The route passes through the North Boambee Valley, through the Roberts Hill ridgeline and then traverses the foothills of the Coffs Harbour basin west and north to Korora Hill.
Roads and Maritime will be seeking planning approval through carrying out the environmental impact statement on the preferred route.
The current route map can be viewed here.
Roads and Maritime Services has been investigating a Coffs Harbour bypass since 2001 as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade. The preferred route was announced in 2004 and the concept design report was published in 2008.
Since then funding priorities have targeted the full duplication of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border by 2020.
In March 2015 the NSW Government pledged $200 million for construction of the project, subject to a business case and significant funding from the Australian Government. The project has been allocated funding to carry out the environmental assessment and to finalise the concept design.
In December 2017 a strategic business case was submitted to the Australian Government to begin discussions about the project.
In May 2018 the Australian Government committed $971 million to build the project, and in September Roads and Maritime released the preferred concept design for community feedback.
In September 2019 the project's environmental impact statement was exhibited for public comment.