Drilling targets foundations

WHILE there's still no date for a second river crossing at Harwood, Roads and Maritime Services has confirmed drilling and sampling is under way east of the Harwood Bridge to determine where the foundations for the proposed new bridge may be placed.

"As part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade, survey and geotechnical investigations are being carried out along the 155km length of the project," a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said.

"As part of this work, barges are being launched into major waterways, such as the Clarence and Richmond rivers, to allow investigations to be carried out."

Drill machinery is also in the area between Harwood and Iluka to take samples of the embankments, drain structures and soft soils in the area.

The barge will be in the water for about another week, before being transferred to Mororo Bridge, to carry out similar investigations for the upgrade and remain in this location until mid-June.

Once the barge is finished at Mororo it will be moved further north in the area of the Richmond River and floodplain to start drilling investigations.

Meanwhile Roads and Maritime Services is improving the Pacific Hwy south of the Harwood Bridge to Farlows Flat.

The $8.5 million project is fully funded by the New South Wales Government as part of the Pacific Hwy Safety and Minor Works package.

The project is designed to reduce the time the road is closed in flood events.

The work involves raising the existing road levels along the 1.3km length of the highway south of the interchange by up to one metre to reduce closure time on the highway during flooding.

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