Emerald Beach resident Tony Rodriguez shows some of the house damage he believes has been caused by work being undertaken on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade.
Emerald Beach resident Tony Rodriguez shows some of the house damage he believes has been caused by work being undertaken on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade. Trevor Veale/Coffs Coast Advocate

Highway upgrade is damaging my home

LIVING at Emerald Beach, Tony and Claire Rodriguez have welcomed the Sapphire to Woolgoolga highway upgrade.

However, watching his home literally fall apart around him because of constant vibrations that he likens to an earthquake is less than welcome.

Mr Rodriguez has documented the increasing number of cracks in his brick home, around the cornices in almost every room - even to the point of having a retaining wall collapse and having doors shaken off their hinges at his Fiddaman Rd property.

He said while the $705 million upgrade's joint venture partners Leighton Contractors Fulton Hogan had commissioned a pre-construction survey of his home, he said they are not doing enough to address the structural damage that is in effect demolishing the building.

Fulton Hogan have offered to do an independent investigation into the damage with what Mr Rodriguez describes as an unacceptable condition.

"They want to send someone out to look at the damage but they won't let me see what the investigator writes down - and the person works for them, how is that independent?" Mr Rodriguez said.

In a letter to the RMS acting senior project development manager Chris Clark, Mr Rodriguez details an extensive list of damage to his house that he said is evidenced by a comparison with photos taken before works began.

He says he has been waiting 10 months for action over the damage and that he was now no longer interested in hearing from Fulton Hogan and wants to deal directly with the RMS.

"I request that a new evaluation be done to see how it has deteriorated as the house is progressively falling apart," Mr Rodriguez said in his letter.

Road and Maritime Services spokeswoman said the contractors were solely responsible for repairing any damage to houses damaged by construction of the upgrade and the process was delayed by Mr Rodriguez refusal to accept an inspection by Fulton Hogan's nominated engineer.

"RMS takes any claims of damage from building seriously and will ensure Mr Rodriguez is contacted immediately to resolve the matter," the spokeswoman said.



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