Snow chasers are being advised against heading to Barrington Tops this season as the effect of storms earlier this year are still being felt on the rural access roads.
The Tops are expected to receive their first dusting of snow for the year on Wednesday, but Barrington Tops Forest Road, which is the main access point from the coast, remains closed after suffering major structural damage in the March floods. Forestry Corporation of NSW said there was a "high risk the roads might collapse".
"It's in a bad way, it's saturated still," Forestry Corporation of NSW protection forester Mick Wilson said. "Internally there are cracks through it and the team are doing X-rays on it."
There is alternate access to the Tops through Scone, but Mr Wilson said that road was not built to sustain the amount of traffic it would receive due to the road closure.
"That road is really steep and winding and it's dirt," he said. "It's going to be wet, windy and icy and there are going to be hundreds of cars wanting to go up there.
"No one can go overseas so the volume of traffic even without this closure would lead to incidents."
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Mr Wilson said he understood people would be frustrated, but that it wasn't safe to go up there at the moment.
"We know people want to go there," he said. "I'm really concerned about the Gloucester and Scone communities who have suffered the loss of tourism.
"I sounds like a killjoy but there's no magic wand we can use. It snows there every year so people will just have to go another time."
Forestry Corporation of NSW's forest stewardship senior manager Kathy Lyons said fixing the road was a priority and engineering assessments had been fast tracked.
"It is absolutely a top priority for repair," Ms Lyons said. "We are working as quickly as we can to assess and develop a repair program and have engaged engineers to assist.
"Early indications suggest significant works are required to repair the damage."
But some snow goers have said the road was already in need of upgrades before the closure.
Raymond Terrace man Brendan Coleman has been visiting the Tops for about four years. He has been driving through Scone to access the site since March, adding about half an hour to the trip.
"My opinion is that it should've been fixed by now," he said. "The road could be better if it was graded, it's very bumpy. I wouldn't take a good two-wheel-drive up there because you just bugger up your shocks."
Michael Lintott has been going to the Tops since he was a kid and said the traffic had been getting worse and worse. He said it was good the road had been closed to prevent someone being hurt.
"[The road] was in dire straits and needed major repairs prior to this," he said. "With the amount of traffic if it starts to snow it would only be a matter of time before someone was injured or killed on that road.
"Although at the same time, it's a shame for the businesses in Gloucester."
Mr Wilson said the repairs were "very, very weather dependent" but it was hoped to have the road open for next winter.
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