'A locals’ road': Byron’s bypass finally open to traffic
At a cost of more than $20,000 per metre of work, there are high stakes weighing on the impact the new Byron Bay Bypass.
Byron mayor Simon Richardson said the new road, which connects Butler St to Browning and Jonson Sts on the southern end of the CBD, wouldn't exactly turn back the clock.
Cr Richardson said the bypass would make daily life easier for locals.
"It's not going to change the world," Cr Richardson said.
"It's not going to change the traffic in a way that allows us to now cruise down and remember the 80s, but what it will do is allow locals to get around town.
"For me, it's a locals' road.
"It's not going to turn us back decades but it will make a difference."
The project was funded for $24 million, $20 million of which came from the state government, the rest from council.
It took longer to complete than originally planned and the planned cost has been exceeded by an estimated $1.5 million, but Cr Richardson said where that money would come from was still being finalised with the contractors.
"We're a bit behind schedule, we're a bit over budget, but bottom lone is we've got a road that our locals can now use every day," he said.
"At this stage we're looking around $1.5 million over (budget).
"That really has come from some of the delays we had with the Federal Court appeal but also some of the rain events that we've had over the last year."
Cr Richardson was joined by Nationals MLC Ben Franklin to open the bypass on Saturday.
"It'll actually be a testament to what can happen if you work with the state government," Cr Richardson said.
"Regardless of the colour of the flag, if you're all flying in the same direction, you can actually get some things done.