EXTRA safety precautions, including possible road closures, will be in place at a section of Ophir Road in May while work on the Macquarie pipeline continues.
Orange City Council technical services director Chris Devitt said the extra safety precautions were necessary due to the possibility of naturally-occurring asbestos in the area.
“A section of the pipeline route in Ophir Road passes through a small section of serpentinite rock which could contain chrysotile, which is a form of naturally-occurring asbestos or NOA,” he said.
“Long-term geological mapping of the area indicated that this serpentinite rock was likely to be encountered between the first Summer Hill Creek Crossing and Banjo Paterson Way.
“The first examples of this serpentite rock were found today and the plans for extra safety precautions were implemented.”
Pipeline construction company Leed Engineering will excavate the area in the first few weeks of May and, as a precaution, council staff will treat the site as if it contains NOA.
“The work will be conducted to minimise the disturbance and impact to the public and will be undertaken in accordance with Orange City Council’s Asbestos Management Plan,” Mr Devitt said.
“Under this plan there is a requirement to wet-down the work site, for staff to wear special clothing and to keep passing traffic separated from the work zone.
“It may also be necessary for the road to be closed and traffic diverted through detours.”
If there are road closures on Ophir Road, traffic will be diverted via Clergate and Cullya Roads, however, the road will not be closed to emergency services.
There will be electronic traffic signs in place to provide notice as to the exact times and dates the road will be closed.