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Trucks have been delivering fill to several subdivision developments at Carrs Drive, Yamba, for over 18 months. This March 2017 Sydney Morning Herald story, prior to west Yamba’s rezoning, highlights some of the logistical issues, including an estimated 270,000 truckloads of fill. Pictured: trucks mustering at one of the west Yamba sites that is currently being filled. Image: Geoff Helisma

Yamba Road: truck damage, roundabouts and future plans

The increasing and ongoing damage to parts of Yamba Road due to heavy b-double traffic delivering fill to subdivision developments in Carrs Drive isn’t likely to be resolved anytime soon; and who will pay for the repairs is yet to be resolved.

However, a forthcoming decision by councillors at the August Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting might provide some direction.

Council staff will table a report nominating roads throughout the valley to “give back” to the NSW Government as part of its Regional Road Transfer and NSW Road Classification Review, said CVC’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay.

The government’s review aims to “transfer up to 15,000 kilometres of regional roads to the state’s [management is] part of a broader package of support for local councils to better manage and maintain the rural road network”.

Announced in February 2019, an independent panel plans to deliver its final recommendations to the NSW Government by July 2021, pending impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Lindsay said that damage caused to Carrs Drive has been, and in the future would be, repaired by developers.

“Ultimately, they’ll eventually upgrade Carrs Drive,” Mr Lindsay said.

The deterioration of Yamba Road was flagged by CVC staff in May 2019 when they advised councillors that after six months of haulage “the road pavement of Yamba Road between Palmers Island and Yamba has deteriorated” and that it was “highly likely that … renewal of Yamba Road will be required earlier than proposed in council’s asset management plans”.

It’s possible, too, that this factor increased the cost of the proposed Carrs Drive/Yamba Road roundabout, because CVC staff reported in May 2019 that “pavement renewal works will be required at this intersection much earlier than would be expected of a pavement that experiences a normal spread of axle loadings during its designed life”.

Mr Lindsay said that Yamba Road would be among a list of roads nominated for the government’s transfer initiative, including the road from Grafton to Lawrence and on to Yamba, “one council’s regional roads that [CVC] looks after”.

“The other issue we have, too; council has just let the tender for the roundabouts [at Treelands and Carrs drives] and Treelands Drivewill be the first,” Mr Lindsay said.

“We’re still negotiating with property owner at Carrs Drive, to purchase some land.

“And the actual tender we put out [for the roundabouts] also includes Shores Drive, [which] we included just in case we get some money from the government, some stimulus money; we might be able to allocate it to Shores Drive, as well.”

See Civil Pty Ltd won the tender for the roundabouts at the intersections of Yamba Road and Treelands and Carrs drives, at a cost of $3,968,709.37 (GST inclusive).

“The decision to seek an option for Shores Drive was to obtain a market based price that would allow Council to determine if it was in a position to fund the additional work,” the report to the July CVC meeting stated.

On progress regarding the construction of the long-planned Yamba urban bypass, Mr Lindsay said that the result of a $150,000 feasibility study commissioned in October 2019 would be considered within “our program this year”.

The assessment will estimate construction costs and produce a preliminary traffic impact assessment.

The assessment’s author is also required to provide a preliminary environmental assessment focusing on: ecological studies and vegetation offset obligations (a preliminary staff assessment of these obligations would put the costs in excess of $2million alone), potential impacts on the local flood regime; and, potential noise impacts, the report to council stated.