Sue and Bill Robson at the front fence of their Southgate property where roadworks are moving the road even closer to their house.
Sue and Bill Robson at the front fence of their Southgate property where roadworks are moving the road even closer to their house. Adam Hourigan

Road widening of concern

THE owners of a Lawrence Rd property fear road widening in front of their home might result in a car flying into their front bedroom.

Sue and Bill Robson said Clarence Valley Council began work on Monday on a section of the road about 7km from Grafton, which is a notorious accident blackspot.

Mrs Robson said since she moved in four years ago, two cars had left the road and plunged through fences on her property.

"The new work is bringing the edge of the road closer to the houses, we don't want one of them flying into the front of the house," she said.

Mrs Robson was also worried the council was pressing ahead with the work with undue haste as both she and a neighbour had not been notified the work was about to start.

"The only reason we knew anything about it was, about six to eight weeks ago my husband was mowing out the front and saw a man from the council banging in some pegs.

"He told me it was just part of a feasibility study for an upgrade of the road. He said that nothing would happen for ages. Then we woke up to find all these workmen outside. They told us they were starting work on the road."

The couple are worried there has been no environmental impact statement done for the work which will widen the road and raise it about 280mm.

"We're going to have the fumes from cars coming right into the house, there's going to be more noise and the raised road is going to make a levee wall between us and Alumy Creek," Mr Robson said.

"We haven't seen anything of their plans that shows any of these issues have been dealt with."

The Robsons are doing everything in their power to put a halt to the work, contacting the council, the Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, the NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole and the RMS, with little effect.

Mrs Robson said they were unhappy with the the response from the council's director corporate governance and works, Troy Anderson.

"He finally answered my calls and told me anyone affected had been notified during a doorknock about six weeks ago," Mr Robson said.

"He said my wife had been told work would be starting at the end of March or early April.

"That never happened. The first we knew was when we found work starting on the road."

He said Mr Anderson seemed indifferent to the closeness of the road to their house.

"He said because it was a house historically close to the road that wasn't an issue," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson, said the site was a notorious road accident black spot and council had received funding from the State Government's Road Safety Program to make safety improvements.

He said the road surface would be raised and widened by 500mm on either side and the road geometry would be corrected.

"I think anyone who travels this road regularly would recognise the need for these works," he said.

"This will make it safer for all road users."

Mr Anderson said residents of all adjoining properties had been notified of the proposals during February and March and were advised of the probable starting date.

He said works were due to be completed by mid-June.



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