Baryulgil to Copmanhurst on the Clarence Way
Baryulgil to Copmanhurst on the Clarence Way Google Maps

Asbestos road base, crash concerns for Clarence Way

IT'S TIME to seal Clarence Way between Copmanhurst and Baryulgil, according to the community.

A petition with 38 signatures has been delivered to Clarence Valley Council and it will lead to councillors discussing the prospect of upgrading the gravel road, which includes areas contaminated by asbestos.

The introduction to the petition reads: "The condition of the Clarence Way, between Copmanhurst and Baryulgil, is poor in many places and includes a significant amount of winding gravel road. Vehicles that regularly travel this road, including school buses, often have to negotiate large cattle or timber trucks on narrow bends whilst temporarily blinded by clouds of dust.

"Punctured tyres, damaged suspension and cracked oil tanks are some examples of the damage vehicles often sustain whilst travelling on the dirt sections of Clarence Way. A very steep section near 'Big Hill' has led to vehicles leaving the road on occasion. It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or worse."

The petitioners hope council will investigate permanent measures to improve the road, add guardrails to dangerous sections and invest in the safety of the community.

The papers for this afternoon's corporate governance and works committee meeting suggest upgrading the 14km of unsealed road could cost council about $7.2 million.

Council has been sealing parts of the road for a number of years to cover asbestos-contaminated gravel in the Ewingar area.

In this program, 2.37km of Clarence Way remains to be sealed and of this, 0.63km was intended to be sealed this financial year. It is expected this program would be completed in 2020/21. In the same program, it is suggested that council will seal the kilometre closest to the council boundary.

Council papers say it could apply for grants for regional roads, but despite the community's concerns it is a treacherous road, there is only one recorded accident on the road in the past five years, meaning council would likely be unsuccessful for black spot and safer roads funding.

Corporate governance and works committee members will vote on continuing the funding arrangements to seal contaminated sections of Clarence Way, engage a qualified consultant to complete a road safety audit of the Clarence Way from Copmanhurst through to the end of the unsealed section and seek grant funding for the upgrade of both sealed and unsealed section at this afternoon's meeting.