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Tugun Bypass project


The Tugun Bypass takes traffic to the west of the Gold Coast Airport, connecting to Stewart Road interchange at Currumbin and the Tweed Heads Bypass north of Kennedy Drive at Tweed Heads West.


The Tugun Bypass provides a high-standard road link between the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales.


In the 10 years since the Tugun bypass opened, travel times between Currumbin and Tweed Heads has reduced and are below 5 minutes, while the bypass has catered for a 25% increase in traffic.


The Queensland Government appointed PacificLink Alliance to design and construct the Tugun Bypass. PacificLink Alliance comprised of Queensland Transport and Main Roads, Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd and SMEC Australia Pty Ltd.


A total $543 million in funding was provided for the project comprising: $423 million state government funding and $120 million federal government.

South Coast Region

Project info

Completed in mid-2008, the Tugun Bypass has provided a new, motorway standard link between Queensland and New South Wales easing congestion and reducing travel times for tourists, heavy vehicles and local traffic. The bypass is 4 lanes wide, with provision for upgrading to 6 lanes and a rail line in the corridor.

Final approval of the project was received from the Federal Government in February 2006. Construction works for the Tugun Bypass began in June 2006. Design, construction and commission of the project was completed in 27 months, 6 months early.

The bypass was expected to take 55% of traffic off the existing Gold Coast Highway by 2017 and reduce travel time between Currumbin and Tweed Heads West to 5 minutes. Without the bypass, delays of up to 30 minutes on the Gold Coast Highway would have been common by 2017. Current monitoring shows that approximately 57,000 vehicles use the bypass every day.

Key features

  • Four lanes with the provision to be upgraded to 6
  • Grade-separated interchanges at Stewart Road, Currumbin and at the Tweed Heads Bypass, Tweed Heads West
  • 334m tunnel underneath the Gold Coast Airport's runway extension
  • Twin bridges over Hidden Valley
  • Preserved rail corridor allowing for a future rail line from Robina to the Gold Coast Airport
  • 800,000m³ of bulk earthworks
  • Pavement construction included 160,000m³ of concrete and 90,000 tonnes of asphalt
  • Over 600 jobs were created during the peak of construction in October 2006


Tugun Bypass layout

Key milestones

  • 2004: Route of the bypass agreed to by NSW and Queensland Governments
  • 2008: Tugun Bypass opened to traffic 3 June 2008
  • 2018: Operation and maintenance of the Tugun Bypass (NSW section) including the Tugun Tunnel was transferred to Roads and Maritime Services, NSW 3 June 2018. 

Further information and reporting

Environmental Management

Environmental management has played a vital role in the Tugun Bypass project's construction and ongoing operation.  A Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) was prepared in consultation with numerous environmental stakeholders and Queensland, NSW and Commonwealth regulatory authorities to cover all construction and monitoring activities.  It was then approved by the NSW and Commonwealth approval agencies (NSW Department of Planning (DoP), Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations & Communities (SEWPaC, formerly DEWHA)) in accordance with the project's original conditions of approval.

As construction neared completion an Operation Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) was developed, again in consultation with the stakeholders and regulatory authorities, then approved by the approval agencies.  The OEMP addressed environmental issues associated with the operational phase of the Tugun Bypass project and forms part of the Tugun Bypass Maintenance Manual.  The OEMP details the various aspects of the work, potential impacts, safeguards and monitoring requirements relevant to each environmental element.

The OEMP is updated from time to time to reflect changes in work practices and monitoring requirements.  These updates are done in consultation with the regulatory agencies and to the approval of the approval agencies.  Reports on performance against the requirements of the OEMP are also prepared on a regular basis.

The project required the management of several issues associated with adjacent environmentally sensitive wetlands, the endangered species habitats and the many properties situated nearby.

Technical reports and environmental impact statements.

Tugun Bypass Compensatory Habitat Final Report.

Contact details

Phone: 07 5563 6600
Post: Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 442
Nerang QLD 4211

Roads and Traffic Authority Coat of arms Queensland Government Coat of Arms PacificLink Alliance

Traffic info

Safe loads

TMR and RMS have a number of requirements for vehicles carrying loads through the tunnel.

Transporting dangerous goods on Queensland roads.

Transporting dangerous goods on New South Wales roads.



Last updated
25 July 2019