Grinding halt on Kennedy Drive works

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TWEED SHIRE Council issued a press release this afternoon after road workers struck clay and the realisation that there would be further delays.

The release said Council was facing further challenges in constructing the new road surface of Kennedy Drive, Tweed Heads West, after uncovering a wide sheet of unstable marine clay while excavating out the old road pavement.

“Yesterday (Tuesday November, 3), road reconstruction contractors struck the first of the unstable marine clay but today continued to strike it for the entire length of its 108-metre run for the day,” Tweed Shire Council said.

“The unstable marine clays cannot support the new road surface. Consequently, Council has had to bring in two smaller excavators, which will not sink in the soft surface, to dig out the unstable materials and replace them with a more stable gravel sub-base.”

“It will take a full working day for the unstable materials to be dug out and replaced. Only then can the road reconstruction contractors continue to apply the deep-lift asphalt.

“While Council expects the application of the deep-lift asphalt will resume tomorrow (Friday, November 4), no further excavation of the old road pavement will occur this week as the risk of leaving an open excavation over the weekend is too great given the current sub-base soil conditions. Also, Council wants to ensure two lanes are open to motorists over the weekend.”

Excavation of the final section of Kennedy Drive, which includes the intersection with Limosa Road, will start on Monday at the earliest.

“While we have now lost four days in the road reconstruction schedule, if we don’t strike more unstable marine clays and the weather remains fine, we are confident we can complete Kennedy Drive by the end of next week,” said Construction Engineer Bob Hanby.

“But if the unstable clay goes right through to Limosa Road, completion may be pushed back to the following week.

“We apologise for the slippage in our program but, based on the results of the test holes we drilled prior to the start of construction, we were expecting to find only isolated pockets of unstable marine clay not swathes of it.”

Council appeals to motorists to continue to be patient as it works to finish this $9 million upgrade to this major arterial road.