Tunnels

Roads and Maritime Services has responsibility for maintaining three tunnels in Northern Region - the St Helena, Tugun Bypass and Cudgen tunnels.

Updates and announcements

For the safety of workers and motorists, the St Helena and Tugun Bypass tunnels are closed for maintenance every three months.

Upcoming maintenance and closures are scheduled for the following dates:

St Helena Tunnel

  • Wednesday 14 November – 7pm to 6am
  • Thursday 15 November – 7pm to 6am

*During each closure north and southbound traffic is diverted onto the Hinterland Way between the Byron Road interchange at Bangalow and the Ewingsdale Road interchange at Ewingsdale.

Tugun Bypass Tunnel

  • Sunday 11 November – 8pm to 6am (AEDST)
  • Monday 12 November – 8pm to 6am (AEDST)
  • Tuesday 13 November – 8pm to 6am (AEDST)

*During each closure north and southbound traffic is diverted onto the Gold Coast Highway and Stewart Road.

St Helena Tunnel

The St Helena Tunnel is located on the Pacific Highway near Byron Bay. Routine maintenance of the tunnel is carried out every three months and involves a range of measures such as inspecting the various operating and safety systems.

Background

The St Helena Tunnel was built as part of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade and opened to traffic in December 2015. The tunnel was built to avoid the steep grades of St Helena Hill.

Key features

  • 434m tunnel built under St Helena Hill
  • At its deepest point the tunnel is 45 metres below the 131-metre-high ridge line
  • The tunnel has capacity for three lanes in each direction, but currently has three lanes southbound and two lanes northbound.

Tugun Bypass Tunnel

The Tugun Bypass Tunnel is located on the Pacific Motorway, under Gold Coast Airport. Routine maintenance of the tunnel is carried out every three months and involves a range of measures such as inspecting the various operating and safety systems.

Background

The tunnel is part of the four-lane Tugun Bypass , completed in mid-2008. The bypass provides a motorway standard link between Queensland and New South Wales, easing congestion and reducing travel times for tourists, heavy vehicles and local traffic.

Current monitoring shows almost 60,000 vehicles use the bypass and tunnel every day.

Key features

  • 334m tunnel underneath the Gold Coast Airport's runway extension
  • The tunnel is a cut and cover design, and sits below the ground water table
  • Four lanes (two, two-lane portals – north and southbound).

Cudgen Tunnel

Roads and Maritime Services has responsibility for maintaining the Cudgen Tunnel on the Pacific Highway near Chinderah. Routine maintenance of the tunnel is carried out every six months and involves a range of measures such as inspecting the various operating and safety systems. During maintenance one of the tunnels is closed, with traffic diverted through the other tunnel.

Background

The tunnel was built as part of the Yelgun to Chinderah Pacific Highway upgrade, opening to traffic in 2002. It was the first tunnel to be built as part of a rural road project in NSW.

This alignment of the Yelgun to Chinderah motorway was aimed at avoiding the loss of prime cane land, avoiding flood-prone areas and preserving important local animal habitat.

Key features

  • Twin-tube road tunnel
  • 134m tunnel passing under the Cudgen Road and the Condong Range.
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