Australia has completed the A$640m ($638m) Ballina Bypass project in the New South Wales north coast, six months ahead of schedule after three years of construction.

The bypass is part of the Pacific Highway duplication project and involves the construction of ten bridges spanning 2.6km, 12km of carriageway, interchanges at Bruxner Highway, Teven Road, Cumbalum and Ross Lane, as well as 11.9km of local roads.

The project was implemented by Leighton Contractors in an alliance with RTA, Maunsell AECOM, SMEC and Coffey Geotechnics.

It will run between the Bruxner Highway and the existing Highway at Tintenbar, north of Ross Lane, which will allow commuters to avoid five roundabouts.

Anthony Albanese, Australia infrastructure and transport minister, said: "From today, regular users of the highway can avoid the frustrating delays previously caused by having to negotiate five roundabouts, multiple traffic lights and a 60km an hour speed zone – an obstacle-course through Ballina which added up to 12 minutes to a typical journey."

The bypass received A$450m ($448.5m) in funds from the Australian Government and A$190m ($189m) from the government of New South Wales.

Completion of the main section follows the opening of the Cumbalum and Ross Lane section in March, with the remaining 2km south of Teven Road expected to be complete early next year.