Council commences Bypass EIS
Hot on the heels of the state government announcing a $10.5M funding package for the construction of the long awaited Byron Bay bypass Byron the Council has announced the appointment of consultants GHD to undertake a detailed Environmental Impact Study for the Council’s preferred bypass route.
Mayor Simon Richardson said that Council, through the EIS process, will actively consult with any property and business owners potentially affected by the proposed bypass and measures to minimise environmental and other impacts will be seriously considered and implemented wherever feasible.
"I would encourage those who have legitimate concerns regarding the bypass route to actively engage with the EIS process” he said.
Byron Shire Council’s infrastructure services director, Phil Holloway, said that recent speculation that the Norfolk Pine Trees on Shirley Street will ‘need to go’ for the Byron Bay Bypass on Butler Street, is adamantly refuted and confirmed that the Norfolk Pines will not be affected by the proposed new bypass into the busy coastal town.
Mr Holloway stated that the new bypass is aligned within the existing road corridor.
“It does not go as far back as the Norfolk Pine trees and has the second inbound lane starting at 50 metres from the Shirley Street roundabout. Four car parking spaces near the service station will need to be removed to accommodate the turning lane.
“Similarly, the MR545 traffic study design was for a single lane roundabout not double lane. The traffic study showed heavy traffic flow coming into town and whilst the turning traffic at times would interrupt traffic flow, the road design has the capacity to manage in and outbound traffic,” he said.
The matter for where the Butler Street markets would be located is a separate issue.
“Discussions on the best place for the markets has been a community conversation for some years. What is currently well known is that traffic into town on Thursday is challenging and this is due to the markets.
“Whilst Butler Street road improvements would mean easier access for everyone, the best location for the markets will be discussed as part of the upcoming Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan consultation.”
Other community suggestions raised, included the statement that 60 residential driveways enter or back on to the proposed route, along with eleven intersecting roads.
Mr Holloway suggested that the confusion could be coming from the community taking into account the Shirley Street properties that are already impacted by existing traffic flow.
“The bypass predominately features a roundabout on Shirley Street and turns right into Butler Street. Within Butler Street, there are only two intersection roads, Sommerset and Burn Streets, and about twenty residential houses.”
With regards to a future bypass option being constructed within the existing rail corridor Mr Holloway said that Council had recently been advised that a senior manager within Transport for NSW has now refuted this option an unviable.
“Council is not landowner of the rail corridor and it would require an Act of Parliament in order for it to be used as a road. TfNSW has advised that the corridor is too narrow to accommodate a two lane road, rail trail and rail line.”
The EIS and final detailed design for the Byron Bay Bypass on Butler Street is anticipated to be completed by August 2015 and construction should be substantially completed within 2 years. To keep up to date with the project, interested people can subscribe to Council’s e-news at www.byron.nsw.gov.au .