Council has officially opened Wattamolla Road to motorists after more than four months of closure following the recent East Coast Low weather event.
Wattamolla Road experienced two major landslips, 130m and 2.5km west of Woodhill Mountain Road, that critically damaged the road, cutting off access for visitors and residents to Kangaroo Valley since March.
As an interim solution, traffic flow will be restricted to single-lane access in the impacted areas. Two-lane traffic flow will resume at the completion of works, by the end of 2022, weather permitting.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said Council crews have been working around the clock since the March East Coast Low to get this road repaired.
“An incredible amount of work has gone on to get this stretch of road operational again,” Clr Findley said.
“Even with the heavy rainfall over the past four days, the new lane withstood 600 millimetres of rain and is on track for opening.
“The funding from the Disaster Relief Fund from the Australian Government has gone a long way to ensure this road is rebuilt to a high standard for our community.
“Much of the work for this project has gone on out of the sight of the project site. The project team have had to produce some innovative solutions to the challenges presented by the landslip, drainage, and gradient of the damaged road asset.
“Residents might remember that in the early days of this road repair there was hesitation to put heavy machinery even safely on the site because of the possibility of further land slipping and early remedial works were required to support the edge of the road.
“The team has spent an extensive amount of time creating design solutions to overcome the geotechnical challenges of the site including road resilience testing, bore location identification, continuous bore well water testing and the installation of a Geo-Cell solution beneath the road to underpin the weight of the road base.”
More than $2 million has already been spent fixing roads, bridges, and causeways, as well as clearing the major landslips that engulfed roads around Kangaroo Valley.
Motorists are advised that limited speed restrictions will continue as the road will remain unsealed until all works can be completed.
Clr Findley also said flooding since Friday 1 July had caused damage to the bottom of Wattamolla Road (far western end near the dairy). She said Council is currently carrying out temporary repair works, and this section of road will be re-opened in the coming days.
“Multiple weather events in such a short period of time are really causing a lot of pain in the Shoalhaven, the pain of inconvenience and frustration, everyone feels it, residents and staff alike,” she said.
“Everyone is just doing what they can under such trying circumstances and trying to maintain gratitude for any assistance we can get. The challenges of the last few months mean we haven’t been able to get back to the business-as-usual phase of recovery.”
To stay up to date with this project, visit the Wattamolla Road Major Landslips Woodhill webpage.