Sports fields on track

Recent heavy rains have caused minimal disruption to work on the new Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex in Ewingsdale Road.

Byron Council’s executive manager of community infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said playing fields were being levelled and turf was expected to start being laid soon.

“The recent wet weather has caused minimal delays. However, the site is draining well and we will catch up this time during the construction life of the project,” he said.

Mr Holloway said the selection of the fill was a major reason for the good drainage on the site.

He said originally it was intended to strip and dispose of all site topsoil and import new topsoil from external suppliers.

“Subsequent investigation and design has enabled better utilisation of the materials on-site, therefore avoiding wasteful disposal of site materials,” he said.

“The existing soil has been blended with local fill sand to increase drainage.

“The change in approach has also reduced the costs and environmental impacts of hauling topsoil from as far away as Chinderah.

“Care has been taken to ensure the necessary drainage characteristics of the soil while being suitably fertile and viable for vigorous establishment of turf grasses.”

Mr Holloway said advice has been sought from the NSW and Queensland Departments of Primary Industries and the Sports Turf Institute.

He said laboratory and field tests had assessed the suitability of the available raw materials and range of soil mixes using on-site materials and additional fill.

Mr Holloway said test reports had confirmed the success of these efforts and he was confident of achieving a quality end result.

He said field tests had confirmed the design mix would achieve design objectives and provide the necessary balance between the demands of site hydrology, drainage, permeability and water-holding capacity to suit the anticipated local conditions.

 Once laid, the turf would take until February next year to establish, he said.

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