RAIN has again held up the opening of a section of the Ballina bypass, but there was still plenty of enthusiasm for the project at yesterday’s “commissioning ceremony” of the new Teven Rd roundabout.
The roundabout was expected to be officially opened yesterday, but wet weather prevented a small section of road from being sealed and the opening has been delayed until that work can be done.
However, Page MP Janelle Saffin, Ballina MP Don Page and Ballina mayor Phillip Silver all said they were pleased with the progress of the bypass.
“The design of the roundabout looks how we hoped it would. It looks really good,” Ms Saffin said.
The roundabout was designed in consultation with the local Aboriginal community and residents.
It aims to reflect different tribes using landscaping and waterways.
Mr Page said the opening of the roundabout signalled another important milestone of the $640 million Ballina bypass.
“Since the opening of the northern section, I have had a lot of positive feedback,” he said.
“People are keenly awaiting the final section and it is on track to be finished by mid-2012.
“Work on the bypass has also been a tremendous economic boom for Ballina.
“It has helped to cushion us from the global financial crisis.”
Mr Page also made assurances that the upgrade of the entire length of the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway – which has a 2016 deadline – was important for the State and Federal governments.
“We will continue to see strong investments from both levels of government,” he said.
Cr Silver said there was still a challenge in meeting the 2016 deadline, but he thanked Pacific Highway general manager Bob Higgins for his efforts.
“Bob, it seems, has dedicated his entire professional career to the upgrade of this highway,” he said.
“And he will be remembered for a long time for the lives he has saved in doing that.”
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.