Beware last minute bypass design changes

IT'S real and it's making headlines in the Sydney media, warns the Coffs Harbour Bypass Action Group.

It's the hidden danger associated with awarding 'design and construct' tenders with any major road infrastructure project.

While the group is celebrating the release of the bypass EIS showing tunnels, and not cuttings, they've long warned against the awarding of 'design and construct' contracts as opposed to 'construct only'.

 

One of the Coffs Bypass tunnels depicted in the EIS released earlier this month.
One of the Coffs Bypass tunnels depicted in the EIS released earlier this month.

In the Sydney suburb of Rozelle there have been some unexpected 'modifications' for the final stage of the $16.8 Billion Dollar WestConnex Project which have left the community outraged.

The changes to the plan raise the road into an eight-metre-high Cahill Expressway-style overpass, with a local mayor describing it as 'something out of LA'.

It has sparked opposition from residents, who say they accept the need for a motorway and played ball during the original consultation in 2017, but now feel betrayed by the NSW Government.

An angry backlash to the controversial new overpass - that was supposed to be an underpass - has forced authorities to extend public consultation over its U-turn on the already-approved M4-M5 Link project.

"This is exactly why the Coffs Bypass Action Group has been calling for a construct only contract and the exhibition of final Detailed Design for the Coffs Bypass," said Coffs Bypass Action Group (CBAG) spokesperson, Rod McKelvey.

"This is not a figment of our imagination, this is real and it's happening in Sydney right now. It's yet another example of design changes being made during the construction process and to make things worse, in this case, the so-called modifications come years after better design plans had been agreed upon with the community."

 

The community has fought long and hard to get the best bypass, not the cheapest.
The community has fought long and hard to get the best bypass, not the cheapest.

The Coffs Harbour Bypass EIS is on exhibition until October 27 and the action group is urging those who make a submission to demand a construct only contract and the exhibition of a detailed design.

"Otherwise we can't be sure of the final outcome.

"Though we appear to be on track, we will not be disbanding this group until we have an absolute guarantee of the design - this is not the time to relax," Rod said.



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