Woodlark St project engineer Dean Baldwin with a big hole in the ground.
Woodlark St project engineer Dean Baldwin with a big hole in the ground.

Work gets underway in Woodlark St

For anyone driving into Lismore this week, it was a bit hard to miss the gaping hole in the road that used to be Woodlark St. Work has begun on the $4.5 million beautification project and it is expected to be completed by Australia Day, weather permitting.

Project engineer Dean Baldwin said they began digging on January 2, and working in sections, they will dig down about one metre to then fill it again with about 500 millimetres of rock before putting down the new pavement.

“That’s the most stable platform to build the road on,” Mr Baldwin said.

The project involves replacing the old water pipes, which are 83 years old, before the beautification of the street begins. It will include landscaped gardens, public seating and ‘potential outdoor dining areas’ according to the plan (see right).

Mr Baldwin said the old road surface was 50 to 60 years old and to use the technical term, was “completely shot”.

The new design includes what he called an “at-grade” profile so there is no curb and guttering and no step between the footpath and the road to make it easier for pedestrians to cross wherever they want.

A pedestrian crossing will still be a feature of the new street, but it will be staggered like the one in Keen St for safety reasons.

Mr Baldwin said the biggest challenge of the project from an engineering perspective was the time frame and maintaining an operating CBD.

“We are trying to get in and get out as quick as we can – we realise there is an impact on businesses. We have to plan for wet days so we can continue to work as best we can. We are working 12-hour days, but you have to manage fatigue when you’ve got guys operating heavy machinery and there are strict OH&S guidelines about working around powerlines,” he said.

$2.75 million for the project was made available from the federal government’s Community Infra-

structure Stimulus Program. Council’s contribution towards the project is $1.75 million.


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