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Concrete sound barriers the only solution to upgrade noise

HIGHWAY TO HELL: Michelle and Jason Lloyd are losing sleep during construction of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade. Photo: CRAIG HOGGETT / Woolgoolga Advertiser
HIGHWAY TO HELL: Michelle and Jason Lloyd are losing sleep during construction of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade. Photo: CRAIG HOGGETT / Woolgoolga Advertiser CRAIG HOGGETT

THE Pacific Hwy upgrade is like an "all-night disco" that brings sleepless nights and stress for Woolgoolga's Lloyd family.

With three boys studying - two university and one doing his HSC - the family is struggling to manage the anxiety brought by the thought of another night of lost sleep.

When their property near the southern end of the bypass section was initially assessed, the RMS decided to install thicker glass and air-conditioning as a solution to the dust and noise from the worksite.

But the measures weren't enough, and now they believe the only solution is a short section of concrete sound barrier like that installed elsewhere on the upgrade.

"They just won't come to the party," Mr Lloyd said.

"It's not enough that we constantly have to rewash our clothes after they get covered in dust on the line."

Mr Lloyd doesn't think it's too much to ask that the huge project helps their property.

"This land is zoned for the future expansion of Woolgoolga, so what are they going to do then - just leave it as it is?" he asked.

He said it was an issue of fairness as well as making their property livable.

"Other people bought houses when there was already a highway in place and they got the sound barriers," he said.

"We've lived here for 25 years and there was no highway next door when we bought this property from my parents, it was all banana plantation to the south and when I grew up it was bush."

The couple say they've also lost a ground-fed spring on their property.

"It's just dried up since they cut into it across there," he said.

The neighbouring property belongs to Mr Lloyd's parents and features a tract of forest with a conservation order on it because of its value as habitat.

"They won't even put up a fauna fence even though there's kangaroos, traces of koalas and heaps of other animals in there," Mr Lloyd said.

"With a project of this size, surely it wouldn't cost them too much to erect another small section of sound protection."

Topics:  pacific highway, roads and maritime services, sapphire to woolgoolga upgrade


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