Swampy ground overcome to deliver Clergate Road improvements

Orange City Council works manager Wayne Gailey, mayor Reg Kidd and Hamcon Civil managing director Mark Hammond. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI
Orange City Council works manager Wayne Gailey, mayor Reg Kidd and Hamcon Civil managing director Mark Hammond. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI

CLERGATE Road is within a week of being fully opened to traffic, with the final hotmix asphalt seal being laid.

The $2.8 million project to improve the road’s surface and drainage between Farrell Road and Quartz Street started in February, including a series of pipes between 375 and 900 millimetres, laid underground. 

Mayor Reg Kidd said the road had originally been a narrow, floodprone country lane, despite dealing with both residential cars and heavy trucks. 

“It opens it up for traffic to move in and out of the area a lot more smoothly,” he said.

“There’s obviously still some sites there that are still open for people to purchase or develop businesses on, there will certainly be some more houses built in this area, there’s no doubt in the wide world about that.”

Cr Kidd said better access along Clergate Road could also ease pressure on the Telopea Way intersection. 

However, he said heavy clay and swampy conditions had been a challenge and it ran past the planned completion date. 

“The businesses around here and the residents have been pretty good about it and there’s a lot in it,” he said. 

Hamcon Civil managing director Mark Hammond said it was often difficult to build new, heavy-duty pavement over old existing roads.

“That’s where we found a lot of subgrade problems and a lot of services were in the ground were conflicting with the new pavement – we had to build the new pavement a lot thicker than what was here before,” he said. 

However he said progress in the past three months had been positive and the weather had co-operated.

Asked whether further problems were expected on the stretch, Cr Kidd pointed to other upgrades on Bathurst Road near Perc Griffith Way.

“That whole area for about half a kilometre is a lot boggier and wetter than here and [with the] subsurface drainage and compaction and the roadworks we’ve done there, we’ve had no problems,” he said.

$1.4 million came from the federal government as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Cr Kidd said he was keen to co-operate with Cabonne Council to secure more funding for further improvements on Clergate Road, heading north. 

The intersection of Clergate Road and the Northern Distributor Road will be resurfaced with hotmix in early 2018, between the bridge and Anson Street, and streetlights will be installed.