Lower Dyraaba resident Heather Rome checks out a crevice along Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Lower Dyraaba resident Heather Rome checks out a crevice along Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

What’s a pothole or two, when there’s crevices in the road

RESIDENTS can handle the potholes, the corrugations, loose gravel and water on the road.

But the crevices along Old Dyraaba Rd are a whole other level.

Heather Rome said it wasn't a matter of "if someone is killed but when."

The soft edges of the crevices lining the road are dangerous and she fears an accident.

The 15km road services about 40 households including two dairy farms and two poultry farms.

"I live 17km from Casino but it takes me half an hour to get there," Ms Rome said.

While recent storms a week ago, created deep crevices along the road, the state of Old Dyraaba Rd has been an issue for more than two years, she said.

Resident Jeremy Cruickshank said the school bus had stopped its school pick up route because the road was not safe.

 

Lower Dyraaba residents Jeremy Cruickshank, Heather Rome and Barry Rose walk along the graded part of Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino. PIC; SUSANNA FREYMARK
Lower Dyraaba residents Jeremy Cruickshank, Heather Rome and Barry Rose walk along the graded part of Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino. PIC; SUSANNA FREYMARK

Half the road sits in Kyogle Shire and the other half in Richmond Valley.

Both councils said they had only received disaster funding two days ago.

Richmond Valley Council's general manager Vaughan Macdonald said they received a Natural Disaster Declaration from the NSW Government following the damaging flash floods of February 12-13, paving the way for extensive repair works on the Valley's 530km unsealed road network.

"As of Monday, March 2, three road crews will begin an initial two-month program of works on those roads which were most impacted by the extreme weather event," Mr Macdonald said.

Work will commence on the Pikapene section of Busbys Flat Road (13.5km), Old Dyraaba Road (8.5km), and Coraki-Ellangowan Road (11.6km).

Work is then scheduled to follow on Upper Mongogarie Road, Upper Cherry Tree Road, and the Bulmers Mill section of Busbys Flat Road.

 

State of Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino.
State of Old Dyraaba Rd, near Casino.

 

The total cost of repairs to the Valley's road network from heavy rainfall caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi had been revised up from $2 million to between $3-$4 million, he said.

"Council carried out initial emergency road works to reopen Old Dyraaba Road. These included importing 120 tonnes of gravel on a slope near the bus shelter which had been scoured out during the flash flooding to allow the local school bus to use the road safely. Council also cleared a landslip from the road to make it passable by residents," Mr Macdonald said.

"With so much damage, it is expected that the full restoration program from this disaster may take up to 18 months."

Kyogle Council's general manager Graham Kennett said the added damage of the Dyraaba Rd bridge (off old Dyraaba Rd) didn't help as it was washed away in the flood.

 

Dyraaba Rd bridge has collapsed and is impassable. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Dyraaba Rd bridge has collapsed and is impassable. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

"It is important to acknowledge that during the immediate period post a natural disaster event such as this, Council needs to assess the impact and damage across the whole 1,200km of its road network," Mr Kennett said.

"This process can take time, but as we move our way through this process, the areas with the highest immediate need will be attended to first.

"We also appreciate the information we receive back from the local community during this time, as this can be vital in assisting Council identify immediate priorities and areas where damage will need restoring over the coming months."

It was too early to give a time frame to any road repairs and Mr Kennett asked the community to be patient.

Mr Macdonald reiterated the need for patience.

"Council has devoted two of its own road crews plus an additional contractor crew to this work full-time for the foreseeable future," he said.

"This is not standard maintenance - Council is bringing damaged roads back to the condition they were in prior to the flood event.

"We are asking the community for patience as this work is carried out."

• Residents plan to form a Lower Dyraaba Action Group. Anyone interested in joining can call Heather Rome on 0431 489 940.

Old Dyraaba Rd falls into two different LGAs.
Old Dyraaba Rd falls into two different LGAs.