Council delays cost local businesses
WORK to repair the gaping hole in the once busy Oliver Avenue in Goonellabah is now slated to start in late October with the thoroughfare re-opened to traffic by mid-February.
The new timeline comes after a meeting of more than 20 Goonellabah residents on Monday night angry about the delay following council's initial promise the road would be fixed within three months after it was washed away in the May storms.
The meeting heard the closure of Oliver Avenue was costing local businesses more than $20,000 a month.
Residents at the meeting spoke of the loss of bus services, difficulty in moving around the area, and the extra time it took for emergency services to reach parts of Goonellabah, a person at the meeting said.
Lismore Council's executive director for infrastructure services, Garry Hemsworth, yesterday acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the delay in repairing the hole, but said it was a complex job.
“Council has a duty of care to get things right,” he said. “A lot of money is at stake and we were careful to ensure that we provided the best solution for a very complex situation.
“We investigated two separate designs for a bridge, as well as an arch culvert at this site, before coming to a conclusion for the preferred option, a precast concrete structure.”
Mr Hemsworth said the location, the stability of the ground, and the ability for the structure to meet changing environmental factors such as increased water flow had to be considered before a final decision was made.
The bridge, which will cost $1.3 million and have a life expectancy of 100 years, will be funded by the Natural Disaster Fund and administered by the RTA.