Kennedy Drive to run free from Friday

259

DELAYS TO Kennedy Drive are set to end this week in a final push by Tweed Shire Council road workers to make up time on the vital link to Tweed Heads West.

The road was still in shambles on Monday after crews uncovered a wider than expected sheet of marine clay and swamp (pictured) under the old road pavement.

The council made it clear the delays would be longer than expected and residents took to social media to vent their frustrations.

“I thought they were going to say something like the boss forgot to supply iced vovos,” said Ian Firth.

“Only been doing it for 35 years, do it properly,” said Scott Tonkin.

Tweed Shire Council construction engineer Robert Hanby spoke to The Weekly on Tuesday and said the crew was already making up time and would get the job done by the week’s end.

The delays will also only lead to a small cost increases on the overall upgrade of Kennedy Drive budget which is around $9 million.

“Motorists should be travelling without restrictions by Friday afternoon,” Mr Hanby said.

“There will be some time needed with the line markings and bus stopping bays, but we will have those extra lanes running.

Mr Hanbys said the drill hole testing had revealed the clay sheet ran for more than 200 metres after road reconstruction contractors struck the first of the unstable marine clay but then continued to strike it for the entire length of its 200-metres.

img_0879
Unstable marine clay

The unstable marine clays could not support the new road surface and consequently, Council had to use two smaller excavators to dig out the unstable materials and replace them with a more stable gravel sub-base.

“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,” Mr Hanby said.

“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.”

These works are the final stage in a five-year, $9 million project to upgrade the major arterial road.