Lighthouse, beach access open
IT'S open now, but the six-year delay in fixing Lighthouse Rd has frustrated locals and tarnished Byron Bay's image among tourists.
The busy road and walkway collapsed on June 30, 2005, forcing the partial closure of one of the most beautiful roads in Australia.
President of Byron United Paul Waters said the road works were an eyesore for far too long.
"It was a major disruption to the most iconic component of our region," Mr Waters said.
"If traffic delays on Lighthouse Rd have given tourists a less positive experience of Byron Bay then that tarnishes our image and reduces our ability to get repeat visits from the tourists we work so hard to attract."
The road was finally opened without fanfare on Friday night, after a delay of almost seven years.
Julianne Durberville from Byron Bay Visitors Centre was relieved the road was open.
"It's been unsightly and ugly and now that it's been fixed it looks incredible," said Ms Durberville.
The Pass Cafe co-owner Peter Sinclair, said the part-closure was more than "frustrating" for his customers, but traffic was now returning to the area.
"Saturday was one of the busiest we've had," Mr Sinclair said. "A lot of locals said they had wanted to come to The Pass but they couldn't be bothered because of the lights."
Byron Shire Council community infrastructure executive manager Phil Holloway said the re-opening restored easy access to some of Byron Shire's top locations.
"Lighthouse Rd provides access to some of the best beaches in Australia, including The Pass and Wategos, as well as allowing people to drive to the Cape Byron Lighthouse," Mr Holloway said.
"Council thanks the Byron Shire community for its patience."