Residents anxious of landslide risk from roadworks

RESIDENT fears of a landslide due to roadworks at Tyndale have been dismissed by Roads and Maritime Services as fanciful.

With work on the new Pacific Hwy now well under way in the area, Neil Arthur - who has been a Tyndale resident for 22 years - believes a large section of land cleared on a prominent hill in the village could prove hazardous to residents.

"Our hill here is notorious for the amount of water the ground soaks up and if there's nothing holding the ground together, the actual land slips," he said.

"Underneath it's all sandstone, so all the dirt is just sitting there on top of rocks.

"Where they've done this work on the hill, you can see looking down that if it does slip going straight through the Tyndale caravan park and straight through the house next door."

Mr Arthur acknowledged that a lot of Tyndale residents weren't happy about the chosen highway upgrade route, but said if they were going to forge ahead they should at least do it properly.

He said his concerns were based on an occasion years ago, when a small section of land came loose on the other side of the hill, and he said the workers he told about the situation didn't seem worried.

"If we had a week of continual rain and a heavy downpour, people could be inundated with mud in their sleep and it would be a very nasty situation," he said.

"Before they started work (the RMS) should have put up a protective barrier."

But an RMS spokeswoman said experienced project teams were carefully managing the design of the highway to ensure all cuts were stable and safe to both the travelling public and nearby property owners.

"This is the case for the Tyndale cutting where detailed geotechnical investigations have been carried out to help inform the design," she said.

"The design of the Tyndale cut has been carried out by a major engineering consultant with extensive experience in road design which considered geotechnical and erosion risk from the site soils and geology. 

"Soil erosion and sediment control is also carefully managed by project teams and the measures are monitored by Roads and Maritime and external agencies."

All work is governed by an approved Construction Environmental Management Plan where a Soil and Water Management Sub-plan has been developed which describes how erosion and sediment issues are managed during work. These plans are compliant with best practice manuals.

She added that a two-stage clearing process was implemented to minimise land disturbance, and drainage measures installed to control the direction of water flow including the installation of a catchment basin.

Several drains carry water to the basin and other erosion and sediment controls are installed to slow velocities and minimise erosion.

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