Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Traffic Load Creates Highway of Potholes; Summerland Way Decimated by Heavy Vehicle Diversion

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Traffic Load Creates Highway of Potholes; Summerland Way Decimated by Heavy Vehicle Diversion

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Easton Chief reporter

ROAD worker Gary Kirk reckons he came across a pothole so deep this week it took 12 tonnes of hot mix a the blend of gravel and bitumen used in road patching a to fill it.

Mr Kirk said the hole in the Summerland Way was unprecedented, but then so was the traffic load put on the road by the closure of the Pacific Highway due to flooding.

A few kilometres down the road from where Mr Kirk and the rest of his crew were quickly plugging potholes, the diversion sent the usually quiet Whiporie General Store into a frenzy.

aIt was an unbelievable amount of traffic all coming through for the week,a store owner Desiree Bickle said.

The hundreds of extra cars and trucks running up and down the Summerland Way created a mini-boom at the store, selling snacks and fuel tothe vastly increased passing trade a although Ms Bickle noted a[approximately]we didn't come here to be that busy'.

As business grew so did the complaints about the potholes on the road, which peaked this week with Clarence MP Steve Cansdell telling a local radio station he'd seen one big enough to park a B-double truck in.

That might have been hyperbole, but even after days of work by councilroad crews a funded by the Roads and Traffic Authority a the road remained riddled with holes large and small when The Star toured it yesterday with retired Lismore City Council engineer Bill Moorhouse.

Mr Moorhouse said, despite the potholes, the road appeared to be in fairly good shape and could be brought back up to scratch relatively easily.

Mr Cansdell had similar thoughts, saying it was well suited to its usual traffic load, but the load it carried while floods blocked the Pacific Highway, and the length of time it carried them, was well beyond usual.

aI've never seen it (the Summerland Way) like this before and I've never seen that number of heavy motor vehicles on it before either,a he said. …

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