New entrance to airport a step closer
BALLINA Shire Council is negotiating with Queensland company Hazel Bros Pty Ltd to build the new Airport Boulevard.
After a tender process where all offers were declined by council, at their latest meeting council authorised general manager Paul Hickey to negotiate with the preferred firm directly.
Council also approved a maximum of $740,000 in additional loan funds for the project, with the loan repayments to be financed from revenues generated for the Property Development Reserve.
The total budget will increase to $10,740,000, and to achieve this, council must increase the loan funding to $3,740,000, "as there are no funds available in the Property Development Reserve", council documents stated.
Council may still need to borrow another $4m to $5m for the construction of the estimated 26 industrial lots to be created at Boeing Ave, although council resolved last April to place that project on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ballina Mayor David Wright said the negotiations with Hazel Bros will focus on saving money.
"We put out tenders and there's lot of little things, like the type of round about they are going to put in, and quite a few of them were reasonably close," he said.
"We've already spent quite a bit of money, over $3 million, consolidating the axel road area and pre-loading there.
"This is to actually put in the road from North Creek to the airport, with three roundabouts.
"We are just trying to finalise some of the actual details and changes that can save money. We don't want it to blow out.
"Hopefully, in the long term, this road will help make more money for the shire with the potential land sales further on."
The Airport Boulevard project involves the construction of a new entrance road to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, to service future growth of the terminal.
The new road will also unlock future industrial land in the Southern Cross Industrial Estate.
The construction of the Airport Boulevard roadway is the second part of the works to extend Boeing Ave to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and the connection to North Creek Road.
The first part of these works included the bulk earthworks and major drainage works, which were completed in April 2020.