IT'S OFFICIAL: Coffs is getting a bypass with tunnels
IT'S finally happened. Coffs Harbour will be getting a bypass with tunnels.
The bypass will also feature lower gradients and low-noise pavement according to the EIS which will be available to the public from Wednesday.
Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh was proud to finally see a bypass with tunnels granted the green light.
"As we've seen with the discussions over the last few months a lot of people have been engaged with this process," Mr Singh said.
"What we're announcing today is that there'll be three proper tunnels. 190m at Roberts Hill, 350m at Shepards Lane and 450m at Gatelys Road.
"We've listened to the community's concerns.
"I'm very proud to be here with my Nationals colleagues getting the best outcome for Coffs Harbour."
Mr Singh also paid tribute to Andrew Fraser for his relentless campaigning whilst he was the sitting member.
"This was obviously a huge issue during the state election campaign and I wanted to make sure I could deliver on my promises. That's why I worked very diligently with my predecessor Andrew Fraser.
"Here we are today fulfilling an election promise to the residents of Coffs Harbour."
The bypass will be 14km in length, save motorists 11 minutes of travel time and remove up to 12,000 vehicles a day from the Coffs Harbour CBD.
"It is a momentous day today for Coffs Harbour," Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said.
"This will be the largest infrastructure project in the history of Coffs Harbour and surrounds.
"The community spoke loud and we listened. They wanted tunnels and tunnels have been delivered. They wanted the best possible bypass they could get and that is exactly what we've delivered."
Mr Conaghan said a coalition government at both the state and federal level allowed the project to come together smoothly.
"We can only deliver this huge infrastructure build by being a fiscally responsible government," he said.
"It's not just a bypass, what it's doing is providing over the period of the build some 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. That money goes straight back into the local economy.
"We're not just bypassing 12 sets of lights, we're providing safer streets, less traffic through Coffs Harbour and more employment.
"Gurmesh and I heard the community and we pushed hard. We spoke to the Bypass Action Group, went to the Prime Minister, went to the Deputy Prime Minister and went to Minister Toole and we've delivered."
NSW Government Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole praised Mr Singh and Mr Conaghan for being driving forces to help secure tunnels.
"I think the community can be proud that they have local champions, they've got people fighting for the community," Mr Toole said.
"This has been a project that's been two decades in the making and today we're announcing the final link of the Coffs Harbour bypass.
"We're building three tunnels, lower gradients, low noise pavement. This means we're going to have the community and the environment at the forefront of the EIS.
"We're committed to it and we're going to build it."
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack also acknowledged the local MP's as well as former members Andrew Fraser and Luke Hartsuyker.
"Without their fighting, without their campaigning this would project would not be being delivered," Mr McCormack said.
"This is one of the biggest projects we've got on the go right across Australia and we're going to get it right.
"We listen, we act and then we deliver."
The EIS will be available on Wednesday for six weeks for community feedback.
Submissions are invited on the EIS by Sunday, October 27 and should be sent to the NSW Department of Planning Infrastructure and Environment.
Early construction work is expected to start in 2020, with the project expected to take four to five years to complete.
To find out more visit https://www.pacifichighway.nsw.gov.au/coffsharbourbypass.