Crumbling Clarence Way to be repaired as council pursues contractor’s insurance

The road between Woodenbong and Urbenville is in a state. And has been for a while.

The top layer of the road known as the pavement is crumbling away.

Kyogle Council has been working on the section of the Clarence Way between the local government boundary near Urbenville through to Woodenbong since mid-2021.

Mayor Kylie Thomas said construction works were paused in December last year as the project was nearing completion because of the premature pavement failure.

The state of the Clarence Way. Photo: Susanna Freymark

“Council has since engaged independent consultants to undertake sampling and testing of the material supplied for the project, with a report on the final results provided to Council this month,” Ms Thomas said.

The report showed that the material supplied for the road did not conform to required specifications.

The council has prepared a detailed estimate of the cost of the repair works based on the test results involving stabilisation of the existing pavement materials, and an overlay of compliant pavement material from an alternate source of quarry materials.

This approach to the repair will avoid the excessive time delays and costs associated with removal and full replacement of the unsuitable material but still maintain pavement strength and longevity, Ms Thomas said.

With all tenders for council works, those making the tender are required to hold a suitable level of public and product liability insurance coverage, as protection against this kind of event.

The council is seeking appropriate compensation for the cost of repairing the road throughout these affected segments, Ms Thomas said.

It is a difficult situation for the council and for drivers using the damaged road.

“Despite all the hard work and best efforts of the council staff and contractors involved in the project, the material supplied did not meet the required specifications, and this has led to premature failures throughout the works.”

Council staff will continue to monitor the road and undertake any works needed to ensure continuity of service.

The Clarence Way project was funded by $3 million from the State Government and $2 million of funding from the Federal Government, with Kyogle Council contributing up to $2 million of its own funding to allow the full length to be completed.

Photos of Clarence Way taken in January 2022.
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