Story Chris Dobney Photo Bryce Douglas
Residents of Wanganui Road, Wanganui, face months if not years of barrowing in supplies following the dramatic announcement by Byron Shire Council yesterday that it has closed the road pending a full geotechnical investigation.
A major landslip affected the road during the Australia Day floods, adding to several already existing problems with the road.
Local resident Roscoe Phillips told Echonetdaily yesterday that ‘half the road has fallen away and the remainder seems to be cracking. It’s only a question of time before the road disappears altogether unless Council does something urgently,’ he said.
Council’s orange netting erected to indicate there had been a landslip was now ‘dangling in mid-air’ he said.
Mr Phillips, a longtime resident of the road, said he was forced to park his 4WD below the slip and carry supplies almost a kilometre to his house by the barrow load. There is no other access route to his property.
He added that he was afraid to take his daughter, who is about to start school, home with him in case she got trapped in, so the girl is having to stay with her mother in Tweed.
Mr Phillips that there would are up to 40 people living past the first big cracks in the road.
‘The drains have never been done properly. If you get water off the road there would be less likelihood of a slip.’
He said he understand the Council has financial constraints but there has been an ongoing problem with Council maintenance. ‘It’s their responsibility to give us a safe road home.’
A spokesperson for Byron Shire Council said, ‘Council is in the process of attempting to contact the people affected in the area and apologises for the inconvenience caused’.
A two-tonne limit has been applied to Upper Coopers Creek Road, which has also been affected by a major landslip.
Currently light vehicles can get in and out of the area using extreme caution and adhering to traffic control.
Wilsons Ck Rd limit increased
There is some positive news for Wilsons Creek residents, however, as the load limit on that road has been increased to 10 tonnes from tomorrow.
The landslip occurred on 26 January last year.
Byron Shire Council executive manger of community infrastructure Phil Holloway said the raised load limit means the road will be open to the school bus, emergency vehicles, road maintenance vehicles and other medium size vehicles that need to cross the area.
‘The weight load has been raised due to a recent geotechnical inspection following last year’s soil nailing works.
‘With additional testing, the results have been better than expected and it’s a good outcome that has resulted in the limit being raised.’
The site will remain a single lane with a 40 kilometre per hour speed zone. Temporary traffic lights will be in place.
Mr Holloway said staff will continue to monitor for any signs of further cracking or signs of settlement.
In the meantime, Mr Holloway said, the tender specification documents to reconstruct the road are anticipated to be submitted to Council in the next two weeks.
‘Following a staff review and subject to approval from the various state government departments, we will go out to tender to repair the road,’ he said.
For a complete list of local roads still closed go the myroadinfo website.