Start of Major Construction
Major construction is set to start early March. The first stages of work will involve establishing access points to the corridor, and developing drainage, bridge work and compound sites, removing vegetation in the project corridor and along the project boundary, installing project boundary fencing, and some additional building removals particularly for the new Englands Road interchange.
Other major construction early work will include installing erosion sediment controls, sensitive environmental area signs and flagging and Panama disease management control measures at site access points.
We will also start building new road connections between Campbell Close and the Pacific Highway and between Russ Hammond Close and Korora School Road.
The community will start to see bulk earthworks around the middle of the year followed by the start of tunnel construction soon after. View the Start of Construction Notification.
White Booyong Fig Subtropical Rainforest (Grandpa’s Scrub) Design Refinements
Transport for NSW engineers have been working to design a solution that protects the ecologically-significant patch of White Booyong Fig Subtropical Rainforest known as Grandpa’s Scrub.
The design refinements of Grandpa’s Scrub will result in 100 per cent of the scrub being saved, which is great news for the community.
We listened to the community and heard how important this area is to residents and as a future environmental, educational and recreational resource. Learn more about the refined design.
Detailed Design of interchanges
Since the award of the major construction in June 2022, Ferrovial Gamuda Joint Venture (FGJV) has been reviewing the concept design for the bypass. We have made some changes to the three interchange designs that were displayed in the EIS and Design Refinements.
The project update explains the changes and advises how to provide us with feedback on the three interchange designs.
The changes to the three interchanges optimises the design to deliver better outcomes for the community and road users once the new highway is open.
Coffs Harbour Major Contractor Announced
We are pleased to announce that the successful tender of the major contract is Ferrovial Gamuda Joint Venture. Major construction will start next year with the bypass being delivered using a single design and construct contract to ensure innovation, efficiency and value for money in the delivery of the project. The project includes the three tunnels at the major ridgelines, as per the environmental planning approval.
The Australian and NSW Governments have committed $2.2 billion, as part of the overall project cost, to build this 14 kilometre bypass, which is one of the biggest ever projects in the Coffs Harbour region. During construction, it is estimated that the project will create about 600 direct jobs. For the past 18 months we’ve been carrying out important early work for the bypass, including at-house noise treatments, relocating essential utilities, structural removals and environmental work so major construction can hit the ground running. Major work is expected to start about March, weather permitting, with site establishment including construction. The bypass is expected to be open to traffic from late 2026, with construction complete in late 2027.
Learn more about Ferrovial and Gamuda.
Getting Ready for Flora Translocation
Bush regeneration has begun to remove noxious weeds at our sites that will be receiving some of our rare and endangered species, including the Slender Marsdenia, Pittosporum and the Fontainea. This preparation work is very important to ensure the plants have the best chance of survival when they are translocated in Autumn.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is completing a comprehensive propagation program with over 900 Fontainea cuttings being collected and a number of seeds being germinated. Fontainea cuttings were recently taken to the University of Sunshine Coast early this week, where Dr Steven Ogbourne and his team propagated the Fontainea from cuttings, seeds and seedlings. Once established, they will be planted at our receival site. Our engaged ecologists will also be collecting leaf samples of the Slender Marsdenia. There is not much known about this species and these samples will be genetically analysed to assist with its conservation into the future.
In addition to translocation, Transport for NSW remains committed to protecting and minimising impacts to the new species by protecting the majority of the plants in-situ. In consultation with biodiversity, genetic and botanical experts, the alignment has been refined to avoid most of the Fontainea and Pittosportum species found in the alignment. One small mature Fontainea tree will be impacted, and we are going to translocate this individual using highly experienced botanical and horticultural specialists.
For more information on these new species check out the following videos:
Hear how we're protecting the new discovered plant species!
Hear from our Senior Environmental Manager
Two new plant species discovered!
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.
Transport for NSW will be seeking planning approval through carrying out the environmental impact statement on the preferred route.
The current route map can be viewed here.
Transport for NSW 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.