RESIDENTS of Hillgrove House, Bega District Nursing Home’s aged care facility, were treated to being the first to drive along the new Bega Bypass in a domestic vehicle.
John Durant, contract manager for the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), told the BDN he and his team were happy to give the residents some early exposure to the new highway as many weren’t able to make it for the recent Community Day bypass walk (BDN, 24/9).
The residents boarded a bus at Hillgrove House and Mr Durant provided them with a guided tour of the highway and pointed to features such as the bridges, guard rail, power lines and plumbing.
Mr Durant explained the total project cost about $60million, of which $35million was the road itself.
In total, $1.3million was spent on landscaping, and the remainder consisted of design, purchase of land and associated studies.
The residents were very appreciative of the tour and supportive of the bypass in general.
“It’s a great idea,” Hillgrove House resident Judy Duncan said.
“It’ll take a lot of cars off Carp St and Auckland St.”
“It’s A1!” bus driver Debra Morgan quipped (the new bypass is part of State Route A1, the Princes Hwy).
The residents were keen to keep track of their progress along the tour, noting various landmarks such as the old school and the old hospital.
“We’ve nearly made it to the cemetery,” Merv Sheehan observed.
“Don’t be in such a hurry Mervin!” Ms Morgan said with a laugh.
Work was still in progress at the southern end of the bypass, where it meets the existing highway.
“We want to seal it this week,” Mr Durant said.
The project to build the bypass is currently six months ahead of schedule.
When asked when the bypass will finally open, Mr Durant said “when it’s ready”.