Damaged road’s repair in limbo

Trucks hauling gravel from quarries to the new highway’s construction are damaging some of Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) roads, but who is taking responsibility for their repairs?
Watts Lane at Harwood is one of those roads and it’s not clear which entity will make repairs to its surface, allegedly damaged by trucks carrying heavy loads of gravel.
The issue was raised with the council by an Ashby resident who wrote to CVC in an email on June 15: “I want to bring to your attention the dismal state of our local roads.
“The road work trucks going back and forth are destroying our roads to the point they are not safe to drive on.
“Who is responsible for their repair? Watts Lane, Murrayville Road and Tullymorgan Road are buckling under the weight and overuse by these trucks.
“They need to be fixed immediately before someone is injured or killed, not to mention multiple repairs needed by residents’ cars.
“Please let me know when they will be fixed.
“The rain event has only added to the issue. They were shocking before the rain.”
Following up on the resident’s inquiry after a response had not been received within CVC’s 10-day response service standard, the Independent made an enquiry last week.
The council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s approval for the highway upgrade required contractors to remediate damage to roads caused by haulage for highway-related works.
He said the conditions also required contractors to undertake a road dilapidation report and to repair all damage their haulage operations may have caused.
However, when and by whom this work will be completed and at whose cost (a figure of $100,000 has been mentioned regarding Watt’s Lane) is unclear.
On this issue, Mr Anderson said: “We are aware of the deteriorating condition of Watts Lane and are working with the contractors to maintain the road to an acceptable standard, while in use for construction works, before being restored to at least its previous standard when the highway development is finished.”
Meanwhile, the resident who made the inquiry has been advised that repairs to Murrayville Road are about to be undertaken.

Over the past 15 years Geoff Helisma has reported on all things Clarence Valley; telling stories about the tireless work of volunteers in community groups at one end of the spectrum, to investigating relevant local, state and federal government issues at the other.