Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has sought to allay community concerns about the progress of the Tenterfield Heavy Vehicle Bypass, saying that the Federal Government has told her the project remains on track.
Ms Saffin said Tenterfield residents had had difficulty finding out information about the proposed bypass so she requested an update from Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King.
‘Minister King’s office confirmed that the Australian Government in July 2017 committed $10 million for the planning phase,’ Ms Saffin says.
‘Transport for NSW started this work in January 2018 and it is still underway with additional studies, including an up-to-date traffic study.
‘I’ve stressed the need for Transport for NSW and its consultants to properly consult Tenterfield’s business community and local residents.’
Ms Saffin said Minister King’s office also confirmed that the construction project was announced at the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) 2021-22 with the Australian Government committing $96 million and the NSW Government $24 million, for a total cost of $120 million.
‘Construction start was scheduled for late last year (2022), and construction end, for late 2024,” Ms Saffin was told. “However, a new construction start date will depend on finalising the planning project, contributing to the 2022-23 October Budget decision to defer this project for two years.’
The two-lane New England Highway currently passes through the centre of Tenterfield and is restricted by numerous intersections and nearby buildings with minimal setback from the road.
The proposed 4.5-kilometre bypass aims to reduce congestion in the town centre, and move trucks and heavy vehicles out of the town, improving the efficiency of the inland Sydney to Brisbane National Land Transport Network and safety for all road users, including freight transport.