Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has met with the Deputy Prime Minister to discuss the much-needed Coffs Harbour Bypass project.
Mr Hartsuyker said the Federal Government has, quite rightly, been focussed on saving lives by completing the Pacific Highway duplication, but the duplication is now sufficiently progressed to enable us to shift focus to the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
“I don’t need to remind Coffs Harbour residents how congested the highway has become – they deal with it every day on the school drop-off run or the way to work,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“The Bypass will not only get the trucks out of the main street but will form an important part of our local road network.
“I met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss last week to reinforce the need to prioritise the 12km Coffs Harbour Bypass as a national infrastructure project and integrate it into the Pacific Highway upgrade plan.
“The $7 billion Pacific Highway Duplication is surging ahead. Only weeks ago I turned the first sod to start the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade and the Nambucca to Urunga duplication to the south is well underway.
“These projects are creating local jobs and supporting local businesses. It is important that we don’t lose this momentum.
“Construction of the Coffs Harbour Bypass will create jobs for locals and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
“I also met recently with the Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight and Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath to discuss the importance of progressing the Bypass project.
“We all agree that the Bypass is the only way to end the snarls created by an ever-increasing number of vehicles negotiating 13 sets of traffic lights through Coffs Harbour.”
The selected route announced by NSW Roads and Maritime Services runs as a four-lane dual carriageway skirting the base of the mountain range from south of England’s Rd to Korora Hill, north of the city.
A significant number of properties have been acquired by the RMS in preparation for the commencement of the project.
The concept design provides for interchanges at England’s Rd, Korora Hill, and Coramba Hill, linking the Bypass to the city centre.
“During my discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister, I placed emphasis on the role of the bypass in addressing congestion caused by local traffic.”
“I also stressed to him the need to ensure that the final design of the Bypass properly addresses local concerns such as noise attenuation and environmental issues and includes comprehensive plans to manage disruption during the construction phase,” Mr Hartsuyker said.