Traffic using final link of bypass

AFTER decades of campaigning by the Ballina Bypass Action Group and four years of construction, the $640 million Bal- lina bypass is finally complete.

Yesterday afternoon vehicles began driving across the new bridge over Emigrant Creek.

The opening marks the end of a project to remove some of the region's worst blackspots from the Pacific Hwy.

The new road means highway traffic no longer uses the infamous Tintenbar Hill or the stretch immediately south of Ballina where three teenagers were killed in a horrific crash early in the last decade.

Once twinned with the Ewingsdale-to-Tintenbar highway upgrade, it will mean motorists will be able to drive a divided road for nearly 200km, from the Bruxner Highway junction to the Brisbane CBD.

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin said the opening marked the beginning of a new era.

"The Ballina bypass is no longer an aspiration or a line on the map. It is a real road being used by real trucks and cars delivering real benefits," Ms Saffin said.

NSW Ballina MP and Minister for the North Coast Don Page said the new Teven Rd interchange would provide direct access to the Pacific Hwy to the north and south and to Ballina via River St.

As part of the changes motorists will no longer be able to turn right onto the Bruxner Highway from the Pacific Highway to access Alstonville and Lismore.

To connect to the Bruxner highway motorists now have to use the Teven interchange.

Northbound and southbound access to the Pacific Hwy for Bruxner Hwy motorists will be via the Teven Rd interchange.

Motorists using the Teven Rd roundabout from Ballina travelling to Alstonville and Lismore or Teven Rd need to follow the signs on the roundabout.

Northbound Pacific Hwy motorists will still be able to turn left onto the Bruxner Hwy to access Alstonville and Lismore.

Work on the 17 km Tintenbar-to-Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade is scheduled for commencement early in the New Year.



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