Comboyne Road reconstruction hits new milestone

Port Macquarie-Hastings
A major reconstruction program to restore the flood-damaged Comboyne Road will commence this month following the appointment of contractors PJ Warner.

The $6.9 million Comboyne Road Restoration project, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, is part of Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s long-term flood recovery works, which commenced with the first of several major rain and flooding events in March 2021.

The appointment of PJ Warner now means Council can prepare the first of three major land slip sites, by reinforcing and stabilising both the up and down slopes of the road with soil nails. This process will also be repeated at the other two sites.

The slip sites are located between Byabarra and Comboyne about 30 kilometres southwest of Wauchope.

Mesh barriers, guard rail and pavement works will occur towards the end of the project with work at all three slip sites expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter 2024.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the Albanese Government is continuing to work with the Minns Government and local councils to rebuild flood damaged roads across the state.

“Two years ago, the east coast of Australia saw incredible amounts of rain in a rapid period over already drenched landscapes and catchments, and this caused widespread devastation, and regrettably, the loss of lives,” Minister Watt said.

“Through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, we have partnered with NSW to ensure roads significantly affected by this natural disaster are repaired so that communities can be safer and better connected.

“We’re pleased to see the Port Macquarie Hastings Council making progress with this major work and making Comboyne Road safe for its users.”

PMHC Group Manager Project Delivery, Chris Favaloro, said the Comboyne Road Restoration project will help re-establish a safe connection for residents, primary producers and tourists who frequent this route on a regular basis.

“We’re very pleased to have reached this pivotal point in our flood recovery programming,” Mr Favaloro said.

“Comboyne Road was one of the most heavily impacted sites, with 16 slips in total. Of these, we experienced three major slips, resulting in a major planning and investigation phase to consider what tools, resources and funding we needed to redesign and repair the damaged road.

“Given the large scope of work to date, we’re pleased to now get to work on the construction program. There is still a significant amount more work to do, and we’re mindful that there will be some challenging impacts for motorists throughout the construction period. We will work to update our community on these as the project progresses.”

Comboyne Road will be reduced to single-lane traffic flow and subject to up to 20-minute delays under traffic control in the work areas throughout the project during construction hours between 8:30am-4pm.

It may be necessary to close Comboyne Road entirely to through traffic for up to two weeks to assist in the road realignment. Although not currently planned to be required, if this is necessary this will likely occur during school holiday periods and will be communicated to the community and other key stakeholders ahead of time.

An alternative route via Lorne Road and the Pacific Highway will be recommended in this case.

Road users can expect impacts to public transport, domestic, and heavy vehicle travel routes. The community and other key stakeholders will be notified by Council prior to any road closures or changes to traffic conditions.

Additionally, while there are plans to upgrade Lorne Road commencing in 2024, these works will not commence whilst there are traffic impacts arising from the Comboyne Road Restoration project.

/Public Release. View in full here.