A MAJOR strategic transport route which passes across the Great Dividing Range will reach another crucial point on Monday.
It was the brand new $12 million road that was completed in October 2019, but months later the Merriwa to Willow Tree Road was deemed unfit and needed major repairs.
Situated in both the Upper Hunter and Liverpool Plains shires, the thoroughfare underwent a major realignment and sealing of the dirt section last year.
However a failure to meet specifications resulted in significant damage to a section in the Upper Hunter Shire Council (UHSC) area, which further deteriorated due to heavy rain at the start of the year.
This triggered a five-tonne load limit to be introduced and a 3.6-kilometre strip to be reduced to one lane. The section, known as Coulson's Creek Road, has be redone.
Now it's back to the drawing board with UHSC to announce the successful tenderer for design of the road, again, on Monday night.
"Public safety is council's top priority. Council staff are inspecting the road daily for deterioration, with more detailed inspections weekly and geotechnical specialists on site monthly," UHSC said in a statement.
To complete the road remediation, the Federal Government has provided a further $2 million from the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and UHSC has a loan facility of up to $5 million.
Over the other side of the road, newly elected Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) mayor Doug Hawkins said from their perspective, for the most part, things have run smoothly.
The most difficult task was always on the Upper Hunter's side of the range, he said.
"Our side of it was signed off months ago and everything's been fine, there have been a few trimmings that we've had to do," he said.
"Upper Hunter Shire had their fair share of problems with it, but I believe our people did a great job on our side, it was acquitted and done really well.
"I haven't had any more feedback on it since, we have a new engineer that's working on it now as well, he would still be working in conjunction with the Upper Hunter Shire because it was a joint project."
Upper Hunter Shire Council apologised to users of the road, the NSW and Federal governments who provided funding, and the Liverpool Plains Shire, for the ongoing delays in completing the work earlier this year.
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