The planned route for the Hogbin Drive extension, including the bridge across Coffs Creek, showing the new roundabout at Harbou
The planned route for the Hogbin Drive extension, including the bridge across Coffs Creek, showing the new roundabout at Harbou

Coffs Creek crossing poses more

By DAVID MOASE

Funding for the Hogbin Drive extension is in place, so what can people expect next?

WORK on the Hogbin Drive 'missing link' between Albany Street and Orlando Street is in progress but, according to Coffs Harbour City Council's acting general manager Stephen Sawtell, residents will not see any road building until next year.

The $15 million project has the long-awaited support of the Federal and State governments, with each contributing $5 million, and is now part of the council's budget for the 2005-2006 financial year.

With the funding in the place, the next six months will be an important period of planning for the 1.4 kilometre roadway, which will include a 135-metre bridge over Coffs Creek.

Assessments, approvals and community consultation still need to be carried out before the bulldozers and graders set to work.

"When the northern part of Hogbin Drive was built there was a fairly in-depth EIS done for the Park Beach area," Mr Sawtell said.

"In reviewing the EIS, there are now other considerations, like the Threatened Species Act and other native flora and fauna legislation."

Crossing Coffs Creek raises a number of different environmental issues.

There are animals and flowers that need to be considered, areas of interest to Aboriginal groups, potential noise pollution and the construction and style of the bridge itself.

"We now are developing a communication plan where we will go out to the people, both through the media and other avenues, on Hogbin Drive itself, but particularly to those people in the Watsonia Avenue/Brodie Drive area. There are still issues in that area regarding access and entry from roundabouts on both Hogbin Drive and Orlando Street."



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