Repairs to the roadworks on the southern end of Market Street, Merimbula will be the subject of “contractual dispute resolution procedural provisions” according to Bega Valley Shire Council’s director of transport and utilities, Terry Dodds.
The road was in the process of repair in May when it was discovered that the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and the NSW Premier, Mike Baird were visiting Merimbula on Monday, May 23 and as a consequence there was some pressure on council and contractors to finish the work over the weekend of May 21,22.
It soon became apparent that the road surface was not of a suitable standard and at a Merimbula Chamber of Commerce meeting in late May council’s director of strategy and business services, Lucas Scarpin said that the quality of the work wasn’t great.
“It was a bad batch of material. It needs to be pulled up and replaced. It was put down under contract and so we will be negotiating with the contractor,” Mr Scarpin said.
Mr Dodds said that the Market Street surface reseal had not adequately bonded to the substrate in sections of the southern bound causeway.
“The surface in these sections has failed because contractors delivered and laid an unsuitable surface at a time when ground water was high and further bad weather was on the way,” Mr Dodds said.
The Far South Coast was subjected to several east coast lows bringing large amounts of rain during JUne.
“We had no other option at the time than to proceed with an unsuitable seal before the weather made matters worse,” Mr Dodds said.
“A temporary seal has subsequently been applied which allows us to keep this busy section of road open to traffic until a permanent solution is achieved. Assessment of the road has been undertaken by an independent party to see the extent of bonding that has occurred.”
In addition there has been a number of patched repairs particularly on the lake side of the road where the News Weekly understands the road had become soft due to the water table and rain. A large pothole on the south bound lane had also been a matter of concern for drivers.
“Significant reconstruction of the Market St southbound lane will be scheduled at a dryer time of year when ground water and rain are of less concern. There will be information about this as soon as the works are programmed,” Mr Dodds said.
“The matter of who pays for remedial works is yet to be determined and subject to contractual dispute resolution procedural provisions.”
President of the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce, James Smith, had previously expressed concern about the effect of another set of roadworks on local businesses.
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