Back road to get a fix up

DRIVING on the accessible section of the Bellingen-Bowraville Road is not a comfortable experience.

Apart from the sections of road that have been severely narrowed after the 2009 deluges, there is the danger of trees and logs, suspended on the surrounding steep hillsides, coming down on to the road.

Although much of the road is now closed, there are still those who travel it regularly.

The trees are in both the Newry and Viewmont state forests with Forests NSW being responsible for removing the hazards.

Forests NSW said it was approached by both Bellingen and Nambucca shire councils in mid-2010 seeking help with removal of trees that might pose a danger when repair work begins.

“Forests NSW have advised both councils it would be ready to assist when required,” a Forests NSW spokesman said.

“We have not yet received any correspondence but will be available for on-site inspection when required to ascertain which trees will be affected.”

Regarding the repair of the road, the RTA has now received claims from both Nambucca and Bellingen shire councils for the full restoration of the road.

This work is estimated to cost $26.5 million and the RTA is now assessing the claims, taking the outcomes of the recent value management workshop into consideration.

An RTA spokeswoman said once the RTA’s position was determined, a briefing for the Roads Minister would be prepared.

“This is scheduled for February 2011,” she said.

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