Work on the Byron bypass is expected to begin in the coming months.
Work on the Byron bypass is expected to begin in the coming months. Christian Morrow

'VITAL' CONSTRUCTION: Byron bypass contracts awarded

A $14 MILLION contract for the construction of the Byron Bay bypass has been awarded to Hazell Bros.

Byron Shire Council allocated the contract at its ordinary meeting on May 23.

The bypass will cost a total of $24 million, funded by the RMS ($10.5 million), the State Government ($9.5 million) and the council ($4 million).

Byron mayor Simon Richardson said the construction would be vital for the town.

"One of the primary objectives of the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan is to make the town centre more pedestrian friendly - reclaiming it for people and this bypass is a major step towards that,” Cr Richardson said.

"On average there are 20,000 cars a day on Ewingsdale Rd, many of them going in and out of Byron Bay.

"This is a council-driven project to ultimately provide one of the solutions to the traffic jams entering and exiting Jonson St.”

Cr Richardson said the council was aware the bypass "will not solve all of Byron Bay's traffic problems, especially on Ewingsdale Rd” but would divert traffic from the congested CBD.

"We have a responsibility to assist how our town moves,” Cr Richardson said.

With staff finalising the contract, he said construction on the bypass was expected to begin in July.

It's due to be finished in December next year.

"During the construction phase we will have key staff working out of an office in the CBD so they can respond quickly and directly to any community concerns,” Cr Richardson said.

While an expert consultant told the council no species would "become more threatened” by the bypass' construction, it will impact about 1.5 hectares of wetland and 44 hectares of nearby wetland, currently managed by the council, has been allocated for restoration work through Biobanking Agreements.



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