Alstonville bypass construction site near theRussellton Industrial Estate. An RTA spokesman says 40 to 45 per cent of the work on the bypass is done.
Alstonville bypass construction site near theRussellton Industrial Estate. An RTA spokesman says 40 to 45 per cent of the work on the bypass is done. David Nielsen

Rain puts brakes on roadworks

RAIN is putting a dampener on Alstonville Bypass work, but the $102 million section of road is still expected to officially open in December.

RTA project manager David O’May told the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce that ‘40 to 45 per cent of the work is actually done’.

“The Eastern tie-in is the most visible part of the job, but it hasn’t progressed as we hoped due to the weather here,” he said.

Mr O’May said it was hard for members of the community to gauge how much of the work had already gone ahead without driving along the new bypass.

“You don’t get a really good idea driving through Alstonville of what has been done,” he said.

However the progress, so far, means that the noise and dust caused by the construction is set to be less of a problem for those living near the new road.

“There was a degree of dust, but the dust has been great over the last six weeks thanks to the rain,” Mr O’May said.

“By February or March we will have completed a lot of roadworks.

“We’re no longer working in the red dirt, and we will be using different equipment now which means there will be fewer vibrations.”

Mr O’May said plenty of rainalso meant dirty water had esc-aped from the construction site.

Grafton-based RTA Northern Region regional communications manager Sonia George, said construction of the bypass was ‘allvery much weather-dependent’.

“The opening has the potential to happen in January if we get really bad weather,” she said.

Ms George also spoke to Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce members about organising a family fun day to celebrate the official opening of the bypass.

“We’re targeting December, but we can start organising things now,” she said.

As of yet there is no set date for the official opening, and Ms George said contractors had to give the RTA notice six weeks before completion.

“Under the contract, they have to give us six weeks’ notice about when we can have an opening,” she said.

“But we can have things ready and have people on notice.”

While street stalls, a fun run along the bypass or a vintage car display were in the pipeline as celebratory activities for the opening of the bypass after years of campaigning and construction, Ms George wanted community input for the event.

“There will be a community meeting on March 24 at the House With No Steps, and then we will put it up on the website,” she said.



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