Zutano Close resident Frank Cairnes inspects the collapsed culvert on East West Road.
Zutano Close resident Frank Cairnes inspects the collapsed culvert on East West Road. Coffs Coast Advocate

Road collapse affects 200 homes

FRANK Cairnes said it was just luck that no-one drove into the 1.5m deep canyon that opened up on East West Road near Valla during the night of April 1.

“With the culvert flooded, motorists would not have known a culvert had collapsed,” Mr Cairnes said.

The breaks in the bitumen have seen East West Road closed indefinitely, according to the sign on the Pacific Highway, and residents like Mr Cairnes travelling an extra 4.5km on back roads to reach Valla Beach.

The 200 or more households affected are now planning to present a petition to Nambucca Shire Council asking them to repair the culvert and reopen East West Road as a matter of urgency.

Yesterday Nambucca Shire Council's manager of civil works, Noel Chapman, said East West Road was one of the council's higher priorities and surveyors had been out to the site.

“Some preliminary work on the designs has also been done,” Mr Chapman said.

“When finalised, the designs will be sent to the RTA for funding approval.”

The council's general manager, Michael Coulter, said a major landslip up at Thumb Creek, 60 kilometres west of Macksville, was still the council's top priority because residents had no alternative access.

“I understand it is inconvenient for residents but at least there is an alternative route via Sullivan's Road,” Mr Coulter said.

He said rumours that no replacement was planned for Deep Creek Bridge on the Old Pacific Highway at Valla were untrue.

“The council has applied for flood damage funding to replace the old bridge,” he said.

“There was already a load limit on the bridge but now it is totally wrecked and closed to traffic.

“We will be replacing it with a single lane timber structure.”

The sunken road, broken bridge and major landslip are just some of many gaping holes in Coffs Coast infrastructure that opened up during the March 31-April 1 flooding of the region.



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