Bellingen Shire Council continues to focus all of its Operational resources towards managing existing closures on Waterfall Way and is working with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to commence recovery works, subject to weather conditions and further geotechnical and environmental investigations.
Advice received from TfNSW is that closures are likely to be in place for a minimum of three weeks as there are six major landslips identified that spread from Myers Bluff (east of Thora) to Sherrard Falls. (The attached map indicates the estimated locations).
An existing slip at Gordonville Cutting has today been addressed, however the size, extent, severity, and number of slips present continues to make it very challenging for crews to conduct further Geotech and environmental assessments to prepare for these additional recovery works.
Priority recovery works also commenced today on clearing Waterfall Way at Sherrard Falls ensuring the appropriate safeguards are put in place to allow access for emergency and essential services vehicles to move between Dorrigo and Bellingen, however it is unlikely that access will become available before late next week.
Essential services access is currently being defined in consultation with Transport for NSW.
Importantly for those in our community who are affected by the recent floods Council’s Resilience Officers have established a contact point via Council’s resilience Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ResilienceBelloShire/. We encourage you to register here and make contact.
Further, in relation to land slips at Site D Myers Bluff, ongoing investigations have indicated that, subject to weather conditions, this section of Waterfall Way will not be open to vehicular traffic until at least the end of the third week in April.
In addition, Council encourages those who must travel between Dorrigo Mountain and the seaboard to use Eastern Dorrigo Way (Cascade) whilst Council staff continue to progress works towards providing another alternative route for essential travel purposes.
Consequently, our community is strongly encouraged to only travel when it is absolutely necessary to minimise impacts on our compromised roads, as there are limited resources available to address the significant number of defects across our entire road network to maintain essential access.
Due to the extent of damage across our Shire’s road network, Council’s Asset Team will also continue to re-assess road conditions and prioritise road maintenance and repair activities to ensure essential access is maintained where possible.
Council has advocated for recovery support from the Australian Defence Force (ADF). ADF resources have been identified and Council will liaise further as to how these resources can be deployed.
Accordingly, Council would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience for avoiding all unnecessary travel during the roll-out of these prioritised road maintenance and repair activities, as it will prevent our limited resources from being diverted away from these priority projects.
Council also encourages our community to regularly access our Shire’s Disaster Dashboard, by simply clicking here or by going to the Bellingen Shire Council’s website at www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au and click on the Disaster Dashboard link prominently located on the website’s Home Page.