Amendment and Submissions Reports available now
Find the Amendment and Submissions Reports FAQs here
Also available is the latest Coffs Harbour bypass Project Update (June 2020)
Geotech investigations and potholing work underway
Over the past few months we’ve started drilling at Shepherds Lane, Roberts Hill and Gatelys Road tunnel, as well as the two twin bridges over the North Coast Railway and Shepherds Lane overbridge, to test the hardness of the rock in preparation for building the tunnels and to assess the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks. So far the tests are positive, with the rock quality good for the tunnel design.
The geotechnical investigations are a normal part of any project development in preparation for the construction.
We recently started potholing to find and check the underground utilities’ horizontal and vertical locations. To do this we use a water vacuum excavator to dig potholes, using high-pressure water to reduce and loosen the soil. The wet soil and mud slurry is removed to a spoil tank using a powerful vacuum. A hole, typically 300mm square or 150-200mm in diameter, is common and backfilled within 24 hours.
The geotechnical tests and potholing have been taking place in areas that will not impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage or sensitive environmental areas.
The preferred route
The preferred route for the Coffs Harbour bypass was confirmed in 2004 and provides a four lane divided motorway standard road from Englands Road in the south and connects with the newly upgraded Sapphire to Woolgoolga section in the north. The route passes through the North Boambee Valley, through the Roberts Hill ridgeline and then traverses the foothills of the Coffs Harbour basin west and north to Korora Hill.
Roads and Maritime will be seeking planning approval through carrying out the environmental impact statement on the preferred route.
The current route map can be viewed here.
Roads and Maritime Services has been investigating a Coffs Harbour bypass since 2001 as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade. The preferred route was announced in 2004 and the concept design report was published in 2008.
Since then funding priorities have targeted the full duplication of the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border by 2020.
In March 2015 the NSW Government pledged $200 million for construction of the project, subject to a business case and significant funding from the Australian Government. The project has been allocated funding to carry out the environmental assessment and to finalise the concept design.
In December 2017 a strategic business case was submitted to the Australian Government to begin discussions about the project.
In May 2018 the Australian Government committed $971 million to build the project, and in September Roads and Maritime released the preferred concept design for community feedback.
In September 2019 the project's environmental impact statement was exhibited for public comment.