Roads will take time to fix
Residents of the Northern Rivers will have to dodge potholes for a while yet as local councils continue to assess the damage caused to roads by recent rainfall and floods.
Lismore City Council's director of infrastructure services Garry Hemsworth said it will take two to four weeks for Council's engineers to fully assess, identify and put a cost to the damage, but estimates the total cost would be in excess of $1 million.
"It's still too early to put a price on everything but we are aware of landslips on Terania Creek Road and on Davis Road at Jiggi," Mr Hemsworth said. "We estimate it will cost half a million dollars for Terania Creek Road alone and we still need to price the cost of fixing the potholes on roads across the local network."
Along with the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Bellingen, Byron, Kyogle and Richmond Valley Shire, the Lismore LGA has been declared a natural disaster area by Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher.
"This weather system has caused a lot of damage to critical infrastructure, property and road networks," Minister Gallacher said. "By declaring Natural Disasters for these Council areas, we are unlocking a number of measures to help local residents, business owners and farmers get back on their feet faster. A number of supportive schemes are now available to assist with the cost of restoration and recovery under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements and the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements."
Mr Hemsworth said that any emergency work to address safety issues would be conducted by Council as soon as possible, but "larger ticket items" would need to be approved by the state government before repair work could commence.
"The Terania Creek Road landslip will need geotechnical investigation and engineering design approval before construction can begin," Mr Hemsworth said. "Funding for repair claims is administered by the state government and approval takes some time. We still have some outstanding ticket items from last year's floods... such as the repairs needed on the riverbank at the corner of Molesworth and Zadoc Streets in Lismore. We have agreed on the value and type of repair needed, but it's a complicated process."
Residents living in outlying rural areas who wish to report road damage caused by the floods can phone Lismore City Council on 1300 87 83 87.