A large tree, its roots system weakened by the water-logged soil, has toppled over beside the Bruxner Highway at Wollongbar, near the agricultural research station.
A large tree, its roots system weakened by the water-logged soil, has toppled over beside the Bruxner Highway at Wollongbar, near the agricultural research station. Marc Stapelberg

Storm wreaked havoc on roads

THE repair bill for storm damage to one local road alone is likely to top $500,000.

However, there’s some good news for local ratepayers who fear they may have to foot the multi-million dollar cost for fixing washed out roads.

The tab for repairing Goonengerry Road at Goonengerry will be picked up by the NSWGovernment after the Byron Shire was declared eligible for natural disaster funding.

While torrential rain had cut a wide gorge in the side of the road, it could have been far worse, Byron Shire Council community infrastructure executive manager Phil Holloway said.

Yesterday, council staff was still assessing the damage to Goonengerry Road, as well as other storm-affected areas, to prioritise repair works.

The road is open tolocal traffic only from Monet Drive to Beatties Creek Road, with west of Beatties Creek Road still closed until further notice.

“Heading east from Goonengerry, Mill Road is open to local traffic only until 600 metres west of Beatties Creek Road,” Mr Holloway said.

A natural disaster zone has been also declared in the Ballina Shire because of the large amount of damage to public infrastructure, including roads, following the storm.

Ballina Shire Council civil services group manager John Truman said roads were still beingassessed, a task made more difficult by extensive flooding.

Friday Hut Road at Emigrant Creek, Ross Lane at Deadmans Creek and Rous Mill Road were still closed yesterday.

In the Lismore council area, which sustained minimal road damage, Boatharbour Road was still closed yesterday near McKinnon Road.

The Bureau of Meteorology was expecting the Wilsons River at Lismore to peak below flood level yesterday, with river heights throughout the Northern Rivers area steady or falling, except for Eden Creek at Doubtful Creek and Leycester Creek at Tuncester.



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