The repair bill for 12 landslips that have affected roads in Byron Shire could be as high as $10 million, but will be paid for under the federal natural disasters funding program.
Byron Shire Council’s executive manager of community infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said that until all tenders were submitted, it was too early to cost the total repair works, but he expected it to be between $5 million and $10 million at this stage.
All of the landslips were caused by storm events late last year and earlier this year. All roads are open with the exception of Possum Shoot Road, which is closed at the landslip site and only accessible by local residents.
Mr Holloway said, of the 12 landslips, staff had commenced detail design on three, three are awaiting approval from Roads and Maritime Services, four are finalising road repair options and costings, and two remain under geotechnical investigation.
Extra staff and additional consultants were appointed in February to help progress the works.
Mr Holloway said it would take time before all of the landslip sites are repaired and it was too early to put a definitive timeline in place for each site.
‘At this stage, the road repair methods will be a mixture of soil nailing, shotcrete, terramesh and gabion rock walls,’ he said.
‘For most of the sites, the options identified in the geotechnical reports have been finalised and costed. From here they require RMS approval to progress to detailed design and environmental studies, and then out to tender for the works.
‘When the tenders are awarded, Council will then have a timeframe for completion.
‘Owing to their locations, each landslip has its own complexities depending on soil composition, foundations, geotechnical instability of the site and proximity to waterways,’ Mr Holloway said.
Council has the go-ahead from RMS to commence detailed design at Federal Drive and the two Possum Shoot Road landslips.
Currently awaiting approval with RMS to progress to detailed design are Upper Coopers Creek, and Wanganui Road south and middle.
Geotechnical reports of options and costs that are still being finalised in readiness to forward to the RMS include Wilsons Creek Road at Lavertys Gap, Huonbrook Road and Charltons Road in Federal.
Still undergoing geotechnical investigations to help inform the options to repair are Wanganui Road north and the landslip at the end of Upper Wilsons Creek Road.
At Wilsons Creek, near the school, a second alternative to repair the road with micropiles has been investigated. This option, along with the first repair method of a gabion wall, is currently being peer reviewed and costed.
Council expects the final options report for the road to be completed by the third week in May.