Coffs Harbour Major Contractor Announced
We are pleased to announce that the successful tender of the major contract is Ferrovial Gamuda Joint Venture. Major construction will start next year with the bypass being delivered using a single design and construct contract to ensure innovation, efficiency and value for money in the delivery of the project. The project includes the three tunnels at the major ridgelines, as per the environmental planning approval.
The Australian and NSW Governments have committed $2.2 billion, as part of the overall project cost, to build this 14 kilometre bypass, which is one of the biggest ever projects in the Coffs Harbour region. During construction, it is estimated that the project will create about 600 direct jobs. For the past 18 months we’ve been carrying out important early work for the bypass, including at-house noise treatments, relocating essential utilities, structural removals and environmental work so major construction can hit the ground running. Major work is expected to start about March, weather permitting, with site establishment including construction. The bypass is expected to be open to traffic from late 2026, with construction complete in late 2027.
Aboriginal cultural salvaging completed
We’re committed to continuing to deliver effective Aboriginal engagement, which has opened opportunities for cultural knowledge sharing, technical experience and cultural expertise between Aboriginal Stakeholders and the Coffs Harbour bypass project team.
We include all Gumbaynggirr people from South Grafton to Nambucca and out the ranges. This is reflected in our heritage assessment and our targets for Local Aboriginal Participation during construction.
The Minister’s Conditions of Approval was to undertake and complete a cultural salvage. Since June 2020, we have been working with four Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultant groups to progress the cultural salvage works and understand how to best mitigate the impacts to Aboriginal Heritage. Cultural salvage is now complete, and numerous artefacts were found along the alignment. We will continue to work with all Aboriginal stakeholder groups to repatriate these artefacts in the near future.
Getting Ready for Flora Translocation
Bush regeneration has begun to remove noxious weeds at our sites that will be receiving some of our rare and endangered species, including the Slender Marsdenia, Pittosporum and the Fontainea. This preparation work is very important to ensure the plants have the best chance of survival when they are translocated in Autumn.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is completing a comprehensive propagation program with over 900 Fontainea cuttings being collected and a number of seeds being germinated. Fontainea cuttings were recently taken to the University of Sunshine Coast early this week, where Dr Steven Ogbourne and his team propagated the Fontainea from cuttings, seeds and seedlings. Once established, they will be planted at our receival site. Our engaged ecologists will also be collecting leaf samples of the Slender Marsdenia. There is not much known about this species and these samples will be genetically analysed to assist with its conservation into the future.
In addition to translocation, Transport for NSW remains committed to protecting and minimising impacts to the new species by protecting the majority of the plants in-situ. In consultation with biodiversity, genetic and botanical experts, the alignment has been refined to avoid most of the Fontainea and Pittosportum species found in the alignment. One small mature Fontainea tree will be impacted, and we are going to translocate this individual using highly experienced botanical and horticultural specialists.
For more information on these new species check out the following videos:
At house noise treatment update
At house noise treatment is a big job on the project with about 619 properties across the alignment being identified as eligible. Three packages of building work has been awarded already to local building contractors Tisdell Constructions Pty Ltd. and Wilk Construction. Between the three packages nearly 70 houses will have completed AHNT in a few months.
The impacts of noise, both operational and construction, are of major concern to the Coffs Harbour community. FAQs have been developed to provide information about potential road traffic noise impacts as part of the Coffs Harbour bypass project. They include information about noise criteria, noise modelling, noise guidelines and the at-house noise treatment process. Click here to download the FAQs
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.
Transport for NSW will be seeking planning approval through carrying out the environmental impact statement on the preferred route.
The current route map can be viewed here.
Transport for NSW 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.