A NUMBER of construction companies have been called on to help council restore a lengthy list of roads and bridges that still needing repairing across the Tweed, four months after Cyclone Debbie.
The ex-tropical cyclone caused more than $23 million in damage to roads and bridges across the Tweed in March.
Council has boosted its available flood-recovery workforce by enlisting six construction companies to undertake minor to medium flood repairs on its bridge and road assets once those jobs become “shovel-ready”.
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“Under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), Council is unable to use its own workforce or plant to repair the flood damage as these costs would not be recoverable,” Council said in a statement.
“Thus, repair works must be contracted out resulting in inevitable delays due to the need for good governance and proper process to be followed.”
Floor Restoration Coordinator Nigel Dobson said getting an approved panel of providers was a major milestone.
“With this panel of providers on board, we will be able to cut through some of the red tape of contracting out works,” Mr Dobson said.
“Initially a two-stage engagement process is a little slower but it will pay dividends later.
“However, the community still needs to understand that planning, programming, and packaging work will take time and we ask them to continue to be patient.”
While the panel of provider contractors undertake minor and medium repairs, there are still 50 plus complex repair jobs that require specialist geotechnical investigations or significant engineering design.
“While the geotechnical investigations and engineering design are underway on a number of these jobs, the fact is the start of any construction is still many months away,” Mr Dobson said.
“While we have done temporary repairs on many of these roads to get them open and keep them open, we need motorists to obey the signage, be courteous to other road users and drive to suit conditions.
“We regularly check these roads for further deterioration in case they need to be closed due to safety reasons.
“However, while we can manage the risks under restricted conditions [such as] speed limits, weight restrictions or one-lane flows, we will keep them open for the convenience of the community.”
Council says it could take nine months for the construction companies to complete the 1000 repairs still needed to fully restore the shire’s roads and bridges.