George Bass Drive road realignment

Project: Upgrading George Bass Drive between Surf Beach and Lilli Pilli to improve road safety

Funding: $3.8m from the Federal and State Government Stimulus Commitment – Safety Works is being matched by $0.85m in developer contributions provided to cater for the growth in traffic on our road network in this $4.65m project over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years

Timeframe: March to December 2021

Last updated: July 2021

Road closure

June to September 2021: a section of George Bass Drive is closed to through traffic. Detours are in place.


George Bass Drive links the Batemans Bay area to coastal suburbs to the south and on to Moruya Airport. The critical regional transport route is experiencing significant growth in traffic due to increasing local development and higher visitor numbers.

The tight bends on George Bass Drive in Lilli Pilli have a poor history of road crashes. The road realignment project involves straightening the road by removing the bends between Grandfathers Gully Road and Denise Drive to avoid further road-related trauma.

The upgrade will significantly improve line of sight for drivers and provide protected right-turn intersections to Grandfathers Gully Road and Denise Drive. Other road safety improvements include widened lanes, centreline treatments and shoulders, lighting, delineation and protective fencing.

The project involves major earthworks and material from the site will be re-used to prepare for broader road safety improvements along the route to Malua Bay and the Guerilla Bay intersection.

George Bass Drive will be closed to through traffic for a period of the works. Diversions will be in place via Link Road, Ridge Road and Tallgums Way. Relevant information regarding changes to traffic flow during the project will be communicated to residents, bus companies and other road users throughout the project.

The new road alignment and road formation will provide for vastly improved safety and capacity to meet current and future traffic volumes. The upgrade of the major distributor road is a key project in Council’s Road Safety Plan 2019-22.

An aerial image shows a cleared strip through forest creating a straight line where the road will be positioned to remove the tight bends


Latest news

July 2021

An aerial photo shows major earthworks underway cutting a road through a hill

  • Moving mountains: major earthworks cut into the hill to make way for the new road.

A dump truck tips a load of dirt onto a vast earthworks site

  • Dump trucks, rollers, graders and dozers move huge amounts of earth around, changing the landscape, to provide foundations for the new road.
  • Excess material is being repurposed at other locations along George Bass Drive to provide wider shoulders to increase road safety.

June 2021

  • To allow major earthworks to be undertaken, we are closing a section of George Bass Drive to all through traffic.
    • Where: between Grandfathers Gully Road and Denise Drive, Lilli Pilli
    • When: from 7am, Monday 21 June until 24 September 2021, weather permitting
  • Commuters will need to use Tallgums Way, The Ridge Road and Link Road to access George Bass Drive either side of the road closure. The detour will add approximately 2-3 minutes and 1km to trips between Surf Beach and Malua Bay. The detour will be speed limited to 50-60km per hour.
  • While the closure may cause some inconvenience to road users, the volume of earthworks needed for the project requires thousands of heavy plant movements. Closing the road means the work can be completed sooner and safer than building a road with approximately 5000 vehicles passing through the worksite per day.
  • George Bass Drive - road closure details

May 2021

An aerial image shows earthworks cutting a road through a forested area

  • Our crews have been busy getting this show on the road, cutting into the hill rising up from Grandfathers Gully.
  • Water and sewer infrastructure have been moved out of the way.

Heavy plant are placing two long concrete culvert extensions in a gully.

  • Huge twin cell culverts have been extended over 40 metres to allow for drainage in Grandfathers Gully.

Heavy plant work in a large cleared area surrounded by forest.

  • The vegetation has been removed allowing the major earthworks to begin. It's a massive task and we're bringing in the big guys to get the job done.

April 2021

  • Work crews are starting preliminary works along George Bass Drive near Grandfathers Gully Road.
  • Work involves removing trees, installing pipework, relocating services and building access roads.
  • Traffic control is in place and commuters should avoid the area or allow extra travel time.

February 2021

  • Our design team are working with engineers and construction staff to get this project shovel ready.

More info

For more information about the George Bass Drive road realignment project, please contact our Senior Projects Engineer, George Workman: