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 2021 to March 2022

Last updated: March 2022


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.


Project updates

February 2022

  • Traffic is moving smoothly along the new straight section of George Bass Drive.
  • The project is pretty much complete, with just a few finishing touches happening in the background.

December 2021

  • The realignment of George Bass Drive at Lilli Pilli is rapidly nearing completion, with traffic now on the new road under a roadworks speed limit and traffic control.
  • The ongoing wet weather has provided additional challenges meaning we haven't quite finished the job yet. But we'll be back in mid-January to apply the finishing touches.

November 2021

  • We've finished the huge cut and come out the other side. Now we are shaping up the area to get the sightlines right.
  • Drainage and kerb works are underway as are the foundational works for the footpath over the old section of road.
  • We are revegetating the road verges, restoring the sites as we go.
  • Looking good to have the road open before Christmas so long as the weather doesn't give us any trouble.

September 2021

  • The huge cut through the hill is about 75 per cent complete and the material is being rolled out across various sites.
  • We've had to make the tough decision to keep George Bass Drive closed until the end of the school year. The extended closure will allow construction work to continue until the job is done without the need to manage high traffic loads through the busy job site.

August 2021

  • The high-voltage power lines have been relocated to cross diagonally over the top of the cutting.
  • In the coming weeks we will get going on the re-establishment of the outer areas, creating contour drains and greening the roadsides.

July 2021

  • Major earthworks have begun to cut into the hill to make way for the new road.
  • We're using dump trucks, rollers, graders and dozers 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 closed a section of George Bass Drive to all through traffic from 21 June to 24 September 2021.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Huge twin cell culverts have been extended over 40 metres to allow for drainage in Grandfathers Gully.
  • The vegetation has been removed allowing the major earthworks to begin.

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: