2024: A Coffs Harbour bypass odyssey
THE year 2024. Simple arithmetic suggests that's when the local community can expect to see trucks driving around Coffs Harbour on a bypass rather than creating a hazard for pedestrians and local traffic as they travel through the middle of town.
At Wednesday's announcement of a strategic business plan for a Coffs Harbour Bypass being handed to the Federal Government, NSW Minister or Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said her Government is aiming for construction work on the project to begin in 2020.
Only moments later RMS Pacific Highway Manager Bob Higgins gave the piece of information confirming a date locals have been waiting decades to hear.
"We've done some preliminary work to suggest it takes us about three to four years (to build)," Mr Higgins said.
"A lot depends on what it looks like at the end, tunnels versus cuttings and all that."
No stranger to this neck of the woods having overseen projects such as the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade and Bonville deviation, Mr Higgins added there's some additional pieces to the puzzle which need to worked out before the first sod is turned.
"We've done all of our homework in terms of the investigations, we've got some more monitoring going on to understand things like ground water and what's happening with that," he said.
"We've done our environmental investigations so we can start to pool all these together and really get a defined construction period but we need to work out the final shape, what it will look like."