Alternative Sealed Roads An Imperative: By Ruth Holmes

By March 22, 2021 In Focus 7 Comments

Dear Residents of Bellingen Shire,

During the last few days residents have been inconvenienced by the landslides on Waterfall Way.

During my lifetime this has always been a problem. Individuals have been trying to get sealed, alternative roads that people can travel on when such events happen.

We in the Dorrigo area have been asking for the alternative route through Cascade, Coramba to Coffs Harbour to be sealed and upgraded. This would involve Bellingen Shire Council talking to Coffs Harbour Council, the National Parks & Wildlife Service, State Forestry and our local Members of Parliament.

An alternative round trip would not only benefit us now when we are cut off but also when it is fine and tourists are looking for different routes to travel.

It would benefit both Dorrigo and those living on the coast. As our population grows, we should be looking to the future.

This was one of two projects funded by the Drought, Bushfire & Flood funding, put forward by us at a “Consultative” meeting in Dorrigo.

$50,000 was allocated. I haven’t heard what has happened with this funding.

Councilor Desmae Harrison has also been a keen advocate of an alternative upgraded route through Eastern Dorrigo during her time in Council.

My other concern is a similar alternative route be upgraded in the Bellinger Valley. Summerville’s Road should be sealed & upgraded to take larger vehicles during such times. Judith Ellem who lives in that area has also been advocating for many years for it to be an upgraded alternative safe road that can be used by emergency vehicles. It only needs another 3km to be sealed to make this possible.

It is now time for “People Power” to act. Will you support us by writing to your local Members of Parliament and local Councils to have some vision and start acting now for the upgrading of these roads.

From Ruth Holmes Dorrigo

(291 Mountain top Road Dorrigo 2453 phone 0427572765)

7 Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    Yes I agree, I like to go from bellingen to Dorrigo sometimes to visit the town but that mountain Rd is so dangerous I can bearly go there anymore and being a health care worker, I met ladies that had to drive that Rd at night after work, very scary and needs to be fixed!

  • Johnb says:

    I believe the Megan Road/Eastern Dorrigo is one of those agreement has been reached to transfer to State Government responsibility. It would be useful to expedite this transfer and secure the funding necessary to upgrade this route to an acceptable standard ASAP. Waterfall Way up/down the Mountain will always be limited and vulnerable to closure.

  • Sandra says:

    Thank you Ruth, certainly it is time for the community affected by the constant closure of Waterfall Way to join together, to encourage a focus on an alternative route to the coast. With increasing extreme weather events, nature will continue to have an impact on the roads viability along with the number of
    vehicles now using the route. As Driver safety is an issue for the state, then there is certainly a need to upgrade Coramba Road as an an alternative route for locals and tourists,. If there is an agreement to transfer the responsibility of the road to the State Government, the time for action is now.
    Beside writing to the relevant people of influence, how else can the community help?

  • John Pitkin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Ruth “Sherlock”. Her article raises all the relevant points to the dire need for an alternative route to Waterfall Way.
    The fact that theses multiple landslides occurred when we did not receive (this time) the torrential rain that fell to the south of us, is very disturbing.
    We also need more accurate information as to how long this now major E-W highway will remain closed.
    The “advice … to stay home” is quite frankly insulting. Still as I am sure the council is fully aware that those of us who live on the plateau have a HIGH LEVEL OF RESILIENCE!

  • John Pitkin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Ruth ‘Sherlock’. Her article raises all the relevant points to the dire need for an alternative route to Waterfall Way.
    The fact that these multiple landslides occurred when we did not receive (this time) the torrential rain which fell to the south of us is very disturbing. We also need more accurate information as to how long this now major E-W highway will remain closed.
    The “advice – to stay home” is quite frankly insulting. Still, as I am certain the council is fully aware, those of us who live on the plateau have a HIGH LEVEL OF RESILIENCE!

  • David Page says:

    There is internal joint Council Report by BSC and CHCC written by consultants to look at and cost upgrade the Cascade Road as flood and landslide option for Waterfall Way. Don’t re-invent the wheel review consultants report and costing. Council staff should look at that report first before doing another internal report.

  • Ruth Holmes says:

    David thanks for this information. I’ve told the Resilience Officers at Bellingen Shire Council that reports have already been done & they need to look in their archive/files as there should be information there. I want them to talk to stakeholders & our local politicians before employing another Consultant with the Bushfire money. I’ll contact them by phone & email today. Would be good if you could also contact them. I do appreciate your input on this vital matter. Our Dorrigo community is suffering due to vital services not allowing employees to travel those those alternative roads to Dorrigo. Thanks.

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