Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Blue Mountains looks to fast-track $33m in road repairs

Blue Mountains City Council is fast-tracking planning for $33million worth of emergency road repairs, subject to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) disaster recovery grant funding approval.

Council says natural disasters in March and July have left an extraordinary damage bill, with almost one-third of the road network damaged and secondary repairs now being required following flood damage to the original works.

It has so far allocated $12.5 million to roads and retaining structures in 2022-23 and is seeking further Federal and State Government assistance towards repair costs.

Council has applied for an initial $11 million via TfNSW disaster recovery grant funding, to help cover the cost of ongoing escalated works, and will continue to apply for up to $33 million, said Mayor, Mark Greenhill.

“Council’s resolution to approve contractor engagement up to $33 million means we can continue to escalate fixing the many kilometres of urgent road repairs, following repeated wet weather disasters. The resolution will enable us to act swiftly and without delay once we have secured the required funding from Transport for NSW,” the Mayor said.

“This step is necessary as road repairs are becoming backed-up due to the extreme nature of the natural disasters, and their frequency, which has meant that each time we have undertaken emergency repairs following a disaster, we have suffered another event, wiping out many of our gains.”

He said Council still had more than 1,000 sites listed for repair. The worst hit areas have been Wentworth Falls, Katoomba, Leura and the Megalong Valley, but roads have been seriously damaged in all 27 towns and villages throughout the Blue Mountains. 

Given the wet winter weather, and saturated condition of the roads, many areas are only being temporarily repaired. As conditions improve, more permanent resurfacing works will be conducted, the Mayor said.

“Council currently has two crews that use jet patching machines, plus a heavy patch crew and two external crews completing emergency works. Council is also working to secure up to an additional five external crews, with state government funding, so that road repairs can be escalated further over the spring and summer seasons this year.”

“By passing the latest resolution, Council can quickly engage contractors through Local Government Procurement, using approved forms of contract and schedule of rates, meaning the more time-consuming tender process will not be required at this time. 

“This is particularly crucial amid a nationwide skills shortage and an extraordinary demand for the services of such contractors following multiple natural disasters across the state,” said Mayor Greenhill.

Latest Articles