Christmas bypass present
BALLINA will be "changed forever" before the end of the year.
Stage two of the $640 million bypass - the section between the Teven Rd interchange and Cumbalum - will open to traffic before Christmas, bypassing the actual town itself and heralding the start of a new era. The project is six months ahead of schedule.
To mark this important milestone the community will unite on November 27 for a long-awaited celebration.
Glenn Costello from the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the town was looking forward to the event.
"I think we need, as a community, to celebrate this project," he said.
"The bypass is going to change Ballina; it will be the start of a new era.
"We'll start to grow without the reliance of the Pacific Hwy and it's time for us to celebrate. This is about going forward with positive thoughts.
"Ballina will never be the same."
Mr Costello said the chamber had worked hard to prepare businesses for the changes that will come with the bypass. He admitted it had been difficult.
"You can never say that everyone is ready, but we've talked about it and strategies are in place," he said.
The community celebration will be held at the Teven Rd bridges at West Ballina on Sunday, November 27 from 9am-2pm.
Free shuttle buses will be available from key locations in and around Ballina.
There will be jumping castles, face painting, an animal farm, entertainment, displays, food and market stalls, bus tours of the project, a barbecue and much more.
Community groups will be involved, with fundraising by local charities including Lions and Rotary.
BYPASS: WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
- Installation of signs, guard rails, wire ropes, street lights, line marking and landscaping.
- Finishing major culvert south of the Teven Rd interchange to form the southbound carriageway.
- Reopening of Tamarind Dr, Tintenbar.
- Start construction of Cumbalum interchange eastern roundabout.