Senior project engineer for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade, Peter Roberts, addresses a community session at Emerald Beach on Saturday.
Senior project engineer for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade, Peter Roberts, addresses a community session at Emerald Beach on Saturday.

Explosive details on hwy upgrade

THE Roads and Traffic Authority says it will continue to consult the community if extra blasting is needed on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga highway upgrade.

Two information sessions at the Emerald Beach site compound managed to attract only 14 people but the RTA is nonetheless pleased with the process so far.

The project team may need to perform additional controlled blasting north of Campbell Close at Sapphire Beach and at Graham Drive South at Sandy Beach, with engineers continuing excavations to see if the blasting is necessary.

“If hard rock is encountered which can not be excavated by earthmoving equipment, controlled blasting may be carried out,” an RTA spokesman said yesterday.

“If extra controlled blasting is needed, trial blasts would be carried out in late September or early October and the community would be notified before this happens.”

Controlled blasting uses small explosive charges to loosen rock which is too hard to be broken up by other means.

“Extensive consultation with nearby residents and businesses is carried out before any controlled blasting takes place,” the spokesman said.

“It is a safe, highly-controlled process which often goes unnoticed by the local community.”

The spokesman said last week’s information sessions had been well received.

“The community meetings also provided information about how controlled blasting is closely monitored to make sure it conforms to strict vibration and noise limits.”

The controlled blasts would be undertaken at the most convenient times for the local community, with the blasting taking around 15 minutes each time.

The blasts must comply with the project’s planning approval conditions and the noise expected would be minimal and only last for a few seconds.

“The vibration would not be expected to be felt beyond the immediate vicinity of the controlled blasts.”

For more details about the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade, call the toll-free information line on 1800 636 363 or visit www.rta.nsw.gov.au/pacific.



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