Walkway repairs getting closer

Moving towards the fourth anniversary of its collapse, there are encouraging signs that efforts to restore Lighthouse Road at Byron Bay and the adjacent timber walkway are making progress.

Byron Council's engineering consultant, GHD, has recently completed additional drilling on Lighthouse Road and the council anticipates that following a design review, possibly by the end of next month, tenders will be called for the repair work.

The council's director of asset management services, Phil Holloway, said if a tender was accepted by the council and funding approved by the RTA, it was estimated a contractor would be employed by September this year and the work completed by the end of 2010.

The council resolved to undertake the additional investigation and design after a failed tendering process in 2008.

Mr Holloway said the restoration works at Lighthouse Road were a high-priority project.

However, he said the planning, investigation, design and construction were complex, due to the location of the work..

“The work calls for significant geotechnical investigation, design, environmental planning and funding,” he said.

“The complex nature of the project requires specialist contractors for the design and construction as the work is outside the normal scope of council activities.

“Similarly there is a great deal of consultation with National Parks, the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and engineering consultants to repair the road.”

Despite funding for the project being approved by the RTA, only one tender was received in January 2008. The RTA declined to provide the additional funding for the works.

The council resolved not to accept the submitted tender and to undertake further geotechnical investigation and design.

Mr Holloway said at each stage of the project, renewed approvals were required from the RTA and Cape Byron Trust.

“In the meantime, we apologise for the ongoing inconvenience and assure the community that we are working quickly and responsibly to deliver the project,” he said.

Works already undertaken at the site include the construction of a retaining wall at Clarks Beach Cottage and a new stormwater outlet.

A section of the road and walkway collapsed after a major storm in June 2005.

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