Flood-proofing for highway

FLOODPROOFING the Pacific Highway south of the Harwood Bridge has begun.

Work started last week when dump trucks, an excavator and other plant vehicles descended on the site and dumped tonnes of coarse road base on the grassed area on the eastern side of the "clover leaf".

An RTA spokesperson said the current initial work was scheduled to be completed by November, with the major work of raising the road level to follow.

The spokesperson said $8.5 million had been allocated to improve flood immunity on the highway just south of Harwood Bridge.

"The project aims to improve flood immunity and traffic flow on the Pacific Highway at Farlows Flat near Maclean," the spokesperson said.

"The work involves raising the existing road levels to reduce the duration of road closures caused by flooding."

In an effort to improve road safety, road shoulders will be widened along a 1.5km stretch of highway south of the bridge.

As part of the work, the RTA is investigating changes to the Yamba road intersection to match with the new highway levels.

"This work may include changes to the layout of the interchange for motorists travelling to Maclean and Yamba," the spokesperson said.

"Any work to improve access would start early next year."

The work comes after the highway experienced closures in recent floods, sometimes for several days.

In this year's flood in January, the highway was cut for almost a week, causing traffic chaos around the Clarence Valley.

The extra heavy vehicle traffic diverted along the Summerland Way took its toll on that road, leaving it littered with potholes.

The major work is scheduled for completion by July 2012. Traffic delays may be experi- enced during initial work.



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