First sod turned on $1.8 billion Coffs Harbour Bypass

Paul Toole (left) and John Barilaro watch on with members of the Solitary RFB as Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and State Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh turn the first sod on the $1.8 billion Coffs Harbour Bypass. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing.

 

THE demolition of a house on Bruxner Park Rd will be the first step toward the construction of the long awaited Coffs Harbour Bypass.

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This first piece of work is necessary to make way for a new fire brigade station, replacing the Solitary RFB’s current home at Korora which will need to be replaced due to its proximity to the Korora Hill Interchange at the northern end of the bypass.

The announcement was made on Wednesday morning as the first sod was turned on the $1.8 billion project.

Local Federal Member Pat Conaghan and State Member Gurmesh Singh were the first to dig shovels into the ground to signal the beginning of work alongside Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole.

The Deputy Premier said the Coffs Harbour Bypass is all about the number 12.

“There are 12,000 car movements a day that will now move through this bypass. There are going to be 12,000 people employed over the life of the project,” Mr Barilaro said.

“You are going to save 12 minutes of your travel time when the bypass is completed but most importantly 12 sets of traffic lights are going to be cut out.”

State Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh paid tribute to his predecessor Andrew Fraser for the passion he put into the project over many years.

Mr Singh also thanked his party’s leaders for ensuring the project came with three tunnels, instead of cuttings which were on the original design.

“I want to thank Michael McCormack and John Barilaro for giving us these tunnels and for throwing their support behind the tunnels here in Coffs Harbour,” Mr Singh said.

“It added a significant amount of money to the project but Coffs Harbour deserves the best and we’ve got the best.”

The Minister for Regional Transport and Roads said the project is expected to take five years to complete.

He added Mr Singh should take a deserved slice of credit as well for the project getting to the start line.

“I’m sick and tired of Gurmesh Singh coming to my office and my door,” Mr Toole said jokingly.

“He’s just about worn the carpet out to my office. He rings every week but he also wants to know where this project is up to.”

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the beginning of work is a moment of celebration for Coffs Harbour.

“It’s great to see work officially starting on the bypass, the number one project the community has desired for decades,” Mr Conaghan said.

 

By Brad GREENSHIELDS

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