No green light but RTA busy
THE Roads and Traffic Authority is reportedly buying up properties west of Coffs Harbour in anticipation that a proposed Pacific Highway bypass plan will go ahead.
Despite the fact the RTA has not yet been given the green light for its preferred Coffs Harbour bypass route, locals say it has already acquired 22 of the 108 properties needed for this corridor option.
The RTA said it did not seek to buy the properties but did so because landowners wanted to sell.
However, it is continuing to negotiate to acquire the remaining 86 properties.
The preferred bypass will leave the highway at Korora, cut through the foothills of Bruxner Park, pass through West Korora and Upper Shephards Lane, through the foothills of Red Hill and Robert’s Hill before rejoining the highway at Englands Road.
“The RTA is preparing a submissions report, which will include any refinements to the concept design in response to issues raised by the community and by key stakeholders,” said a spokesperson.
A display of the concept in 2008 drew 232 submissions and the RTA is altering its design to accommodate some of those suggestions put forward by people in the community and land owners.
After the submissions report has been completed, the RTA will approach Coffs Harbour City Council to begin planning action and formally reserve land based on the final concept design.
“Timing of final project approvals and construction will depend on funding availability,” said an RTA spokesperson.
“Once this is determined, the environmental assessment will start and planning approval will be sought.”
The RTA is expected to begin work on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade early next year.
“Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd/Thiess Pty Ltd and Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd/Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd were shortlisted as tenderers for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade in August 2009. Tenders closed in October, 2009,” said the spokesperson.