DESPITE weeks of rain the Alstonville bypass is still on track to be finished before the end of the year.
The 6.2km bypass, which is being funded by the Federal Government at a cost of $102 million, is progressing well, according to contractors Reed Constructions and the RTA.
Already more than 90 per cent of the earthwork for the entire project has been completed.
Seventy-two per cent of the bridge super structures are done and 30 per cent of the pavements finished.
Work has started on the Sneaths Road roundabout, with most of the work to be done off-site to minimise disruptions.
The Maguires Creek archway will start to take shape next week when a 350-tonne crane is brought in to help do the job.
Local residents have started to think about the aesthetics, with entry and exitdesigns chosen at Ballina Shire Council’s C Ward meeting this week.
Cr David Wright said the theme would be refined further at an Alstonville bypass meeting on Wednesday night.
“We want the roundabout to feature coloured, concentric circles of stones,” he said. “It’s basically a spiral, and it will look absolutely brilliant. Any trees we use will be trees indigenous to this area.
“It’s great because there has been a real consensus on how it should look.”
But not everything has been so easy. A 620m section of the bypass betweenMaguires Creek and Kays Lane has required several rock blasts over a three-monthperiod.
Between 14,000 and 16,000 cubic metres of rock has been blasted at the site.
The rock is being used in pavement construction, and most of the fill being dug up is being used within the project.
In an effort to minimise negative effectson the environment, contractors have formed a partnership with WIRES and relocated threatened plant species where possible.