A vehicle being recovered at Sandy Swamp Rd.
A vehicle being recovered at Sandy Swamp Rd.

Bogging in to fix 'worst' road

CLARENCE Valley's "worst road" has been extensively surveyed in preparation for a possible rebuild, as cars continue to be trapped by the treacherous sands.

Heavy rains in recent weeks have bogged unwary drivers on Sandy Swamp Rd, Coutts Crossing.

"It's a bloody social event," said Sandy Swamp Rd resident Geoff Meller.

"Often the only times I see my neighbours are when I'm fishing them out of the sand," Mr Meller said.

The latest victim was a Woolgoolga contractor visiting a local property to quote on a solar power installation and a simple tractor tow wasn't enough.

"It took a fair bit of effort on the tow truck driver's part and bit of help from me to get him out," he said.

"There have been 10 or more retrievals in the last year for this one private towing contractor."

Clarence Valley Council staff are preparing detailed design plans and costings for the June council meeting to vote on the budget and works plans.

Now surveying is complete, council designers and estimators are working on solutions.

"One design could possibly be five boxed culverts to go across the creek itself and a road built across, of about 100m to 120m long," said council deputy general manager Rob Donges.

"The idea is to choke the creek down, so that it flows through the culverts and the velocity increases so sand doesn't accumulate.

"We will probably have to do some dredging downstream of any sand that is moving through as well.

"Our efforts to remove sand are counter-productive, as we take away hard, compacted sand and you find it is replaced pretty quickly with soft sand."

Crs Karen Toms and Jim Simmons unsuccessfully pushed to have Sandy Swamp Rd included in the draft council works plans.

"I know we've probably got lots of bad roads but I think that one would top the lot," Cr Toms said.

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