When we’ll know how much the Byron bypass actually cost
The final cost of the Byron Bay Bypass is not yet known.
The project has been estimated to cost in the realm of $24 million, with $20 million of funding from the state government and the remainder coming from Byron Shire Council.
To what extent the final cost may have departed from this figure is expected to be known within months, according to the council.
"The final budget breakdown is still being finalised," the council said in a statement.
"There are still outstanding contract variations to be assessed.
"An estimate will be provided in the February report to council, with a final figure not likely to be available until mid-March."
The bypass, aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Byron Bay's main street, is expected to open later this month.
The council had hoped to complete the project before Christmas 2020, but cited opposition to the bypass, the presence of the endangered Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, unexpected poor soil, the border closure and ongoing noise abatement works as reasons for the delay.
Planning for the bypass had been in the works for more than 30 years.
The council settled on Butler St as the preferred route in 2014 and engaged GHD to develop a concept design, environmental impact study and to undertake the State Government Biobanking process the same year.
The state government committed $10.5 million to the project in September, 2014 and additional funds were announced four years later.
The Butler Street Community Network announced it would appeal the Northern Regional Planning Panel's approval of the project in August, 2016 and the following year, the Land and Environment Court ruled in favour of the council, approving the bypass.
Protesters were on site when work began in 2019 and several months later, the discovery of the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail in the project area put work on hold until early 2020.