THE NSW government is expected to announce the successful contractor to help plan the Tenterfield bypass shortly.
The bypass got a mention in last week’s state budget, with $2.5 million listed in the 2012-13 budget for Tenterfield bypass planning. A further $1.7 million was included for planning for Bolivia Hill upgrade planning.
The funding was federal money announced in the federal budget last year, as part of a $3 million total for bypass planning and a $3 million total for Bolivia Hill planning.
Member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay said it was good to see the first mention of the funding in the state budget, as part of a total of $66,959 million in the budget for roads, bridges and traffic management across the Northern Tablelands.
“Maintaining our road network is essential and there is always a long list of work to be done,” he said.
“Works included in this year’s budget will be welcomed by local communities as a step in the right direction.”
No money has yet been allocated by the state or federal governments for construction of either the Tenterfield bypass or Bolivia Hill projects.
A Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokeswoman said late last week RMS was engaging a professional services contractor to help plan route options for the bypass.
“A contract is expected to be awarded shortly,” the spokeswoman said.
“The successful contractor will carry out consultation with the community and stakeholders as part of the investigations.
“The community can keep up to date with the project’s progress by visiting the RMS website or registering their details with the Tenterfield bypass project team on (02) 6640 1300 or email Grafton_Regional_Office@rta.nsw.gov.au.”
Tenders for the assessment of route options for the Tenterfield bypass closed on March 28, with the contract proposed to be awarded in April 2012, the full report to be completed in October 2013, and the preferred route to be announced in December 2013.
Information on the NSW government’s tenders website shows 10 businesses tendered for the work.
The preliminary environment investigations tender for the Bolivia Hill upgrade closed on April 18, with nine businesses submitting tenders.
The final brief for the Tenterfield bypass tender noted the bypass would “likely be a mixture of 80km an hour and 100km an hour speed limits”. It has been estimated the bypass has the potential to take 600 trucks a day off Rouse Street.
The successful tenderer is required to develop up to four feasible routes, with all routes to be looked at, but with consideration given to the western route identified in a 2009 study.
The tender does not specify the bypass as a heavy vehicle bypass.
A bypass of Tenterfield has been mooted for many years, with Member for New England noting in a submission to Infrastructure Australia in 2008 listing both a Tenterfield bypass and an upgrade to Bolivia Hill as “urgent”.
“I believe Tenterfield’s main street and Bolivia Hill are death traps waiting to happen, as there have already been victims and there is likely to be again if the government doesn’t look at the issue.”