$640m Ballina bypass racing ahead
IT’S GOING to be a busy year for workers on the Ballina bypass, with plans to open the northern end of the new highway before Christmas.
The section of the bypass between the Cumbalum interchange and Ross Lane should be open to traffic around December this year, an RTA spokesperson confirmed this week.
But that is only if weather conditions remain favourable.
It is expected the entire project, worth more than $640 million, will be finished towards the end of 2012.
There will be a lot of work at the northern section of the bypass over the next 12 months, including blasting to extract hard rock north of Ross Lane and South of Sandy Flat.
Paving work will also start early this year.
“Safety barriers, lighting, line marking and signs will be installed after the road has been paved,” the RTA spokesperson said.
There won’t be as much action at the southern end of the bypass because the soil is still undergoing settlement.
The soft soils have proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the entire project.
Between Teven Road and the Bruxner Highway, there will be between 300mm and 600mm of settlement over the next two to five years, the Ballina Bypass Alliance told a public meeting early last year.
However, the RTA says earthworks for the embankments will be one of the projects on the ‘to do’ list in 2010.
Other work that will be done between the Bruxner Highway and the Cumbalum interchange this year will include:
- A temporary traffic diversion at the Teven Road intersection with the Pacific Highway, which will allow a new interchange to be built;
- The permanent detour of Pacific Highway traffic on to the new diversion which is being built north of Deadmans Creek Road;
- The building of the Bruxner Highway bridge over Emigrant Creek;
- The building of bridges over Teven Road and the Cumbalum interchange and the continuation of work on other bridges over Emigrant Creek, as well as three flood relief bridges north of Teven Road.
Once completed, the bypass will provide 12.4km of dual carriageway from the intersection of the Bruxner and Pacific highways, to the intersection with Ross Lane at Tintenbar.