Easter hopes for the Brown

NSW Transport, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is continuing to work towards the deadline that could see Brown Mountain open by Easter. A spokeswoman said: “The RMS continues to carry out work to rebuild the Snowy Mountains Highway, about three kilometres east of Piper’s Lookout, after a landslip.”

The Snowy Mountains Highway closed around 4pm Thursday, March 1 due to the landslip on Brown Mountain, about three kilometres east of Piper’s Lookout and since then traffic has been diverted over Mount Darragh Road, which runs between South Pambula and Bombala.

The spokeswoman said: “RMS is working hard to have the road open to traffic by Easter and will reassess the rate of progress next week.”

However there are concerns that some time has been lost due to further wet weather.

Repairs to about 30 metres of road in one location started on Friday, March 9 and involved excavating the existing road embankment and wet material to establish a firm foundation for rebuilding.

Work this week will involve continuing to place additional layers of rock as part of the foundation layers up to four metres below the road.

The spokeswoman said: “A concrete slab will be poured later this week, weather permitting. This will form the foundation for a concrete block retaining wall. The road will then be paved and resealed and opened to traffic.”

There have been questions over the suitability of the alternative route, Mount Darragh Road and how well it might hold up with increased traffic. Ross McCormick, of Pambula Beach, who travelled to Canberra last weekend said that the worst part of the journey was the road between Bibbenluke and the intersection with the Snowy Mountains Highway. A six kilometre section of road is badly breaking up and there are some deep potholes that cause traffic to swerve out in to the oncoming lane. You can expect delays on Mt Darragh if you get caught behind slow moving traffic as unlike Brown Mountain there are no overtaking lanes.

The Police report there was an accident on Mt Darragh Road, on Monday, March 19 and investigations are continuing.

While the Brown is closed RMS crews will also carry out other scheduled drain replacement, tree trimming, road surface repairs and general maintenance to reduce ongoing disruption to traffic when the slip has been repaired, the RMS spokeswoman said.