Coffs Harbour Bypass - planning

The NSW Government is funding the planning of the Coffs Harbour bypass. The project includes around a 14 kilometre motorway standard upgrade of the Pacific Highway from Englands Road in the south and connects with the newly upgraded Sapphire to Woolgoolga section in the north.

Updates and announcements

Project update – August 2016

The Project update – August 2016 (PDF, 493Kb) provides information on the current preliminary concept design, as well as advice on the current status of the project and next steps.

Latest news

As part of the environmental assessment phase of the project a State Significant Infrastructure application report was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The project has now received the Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements (SEARs) for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

You can view the report and the SEARs on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s website.

Project background

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. The project has been allocated funding to carry out the environmental assessment and to finalise the concept design.

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.

Brief history of the project

  • The Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) issued to the project by the Department of Planning and Environment
  • March 2016: Arup was awarded the contract to develop the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and finalise the concept design.
  • March 2016: RCA Australia was awarded the contract to carry out the geo-technical investigations for the project
  • July 2015: The NSW Government pledge $200 million towards construction of the bypass subject to a final business case and agreeing funding from the Australian Government
  • 2009: Coffs Harbour City Council preserve the road corridor in the Local Environmental Plan
  • April 2009: In response to submissions received during the concept design display, Roads and Maritime Services announced that it will retain the Luke Bowen footbridge
  • September 2008: Concept design announced and displayed for community comment
  • November 2007: Coffs Harbour Highway Planning Strategy Economic Analysis Update report release
  • November 2006: Geotechnical investigations carried out to further refine the road corridor
  • December 2004: Preferred route was announced as part of the Coffs Harbour Highway Planning Strategy
  • February 2004: Route options announced including a review of a proposal submitted by the community for a western bypass corridor, known as the Coastal Ridgeway
  • September 2001: Coffs Harbour Highway Planning Strategy was announced to address the need to upgrade the Pacific Highway between Sapphire and Woolgoolga, while planning for future traffic need within the Coffs Harbour urban area.

Project benefits

  • Travel time savings for through and local traffic, and the transport industry
  • Improved road safety conditions for traffic, pedestrians and cyclists using the existing highway through Coffs Harbour
  • Improved freight efficiency
  • Improved accessibility to the Coffs Harbour central business district.

Key features

Key features of the project include:

  • Three grade-separated interchanges at Englands Road to the south, Coramba Road and Korora Hill to the north
  • Two tunnels at the northern end of project, and a cut and cover tunnel south of Coramba Road at Roberts Hill Ridge
  • Structures to pass over local roads and creeks as well as a major elevated viaduct over the North Coast Railway
  • Upgrading parts of the local road network to enable local connections across and around the Pacific Highway alignment.

Property acquisition

Roads and Maritime has purchased about 40 per cent of properties required for the project.

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