Asphalt batch plant location decided
ROADS and Maritime Services have made a final decision on the location of the contentious temporary batch plant, with Mororo announced as the site chosen to supply asphalt for the Maclean and Devils Pulpit section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
After extensive community consultation, the Mororo site was found to best meet with the technical, environment, community and traffic requirements, with any potential impacts able to be mitigated a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said.
"In October and November, Roads and Maritime invited the community to provide feedback on shortlisted sites at Harwood, Mororo and Woombah as locations for the temporary asphalt batch plant.
"Feedback was received from 126 people and organisations, raising 162 individual comments about 26 different topics. Key topics raised by the community included local traffic impacts, air quality, noise, impacts to flora and fauna and management of groundwater, including during floods."
The spokesperson said the project team will start building the temporary asphalt batch plant at Mororo in December.
"Early work will involve installing environmental controls, including water treatment facilities and air quality gauges, and building temporary foundations and hard stand areas," the spokesperson said.
"Asphalt will be supplied from the temporary batch plant from January 2019 and will operate until 2020.
"Once the project is complete, the batch plant will be removed and the site will be restored to its original condition."
The spokesperson said a consultation report outlining the feedback received and Roads and Maritime's responses are available to view online at rms.nsw.gov.au/w2b.
"Environmental assessments have found the Mororo site has adequate flood immunity and temporary fencing is already in place to manage impacts on native fauna," the spokesperson said.
"Additional measures will be implemented to manage and monitor noise and air quality, while hazardous materials will be stored and managed in line with Australian standards.
"The Mororo site is located in a more sparsely populated area than the other proposed sites, and local residents can use an alternative access to the Pacific Highway to minimise interactions with project vehicles.
"This site also provides direct access to the Pacific Highway for heavy and light vehicles."
Two temporary batch plants are required from 2018 to 2020 to supply about 170,000 tonnes of asphalt between Tucabia and Devils Pulpit, with another plant required between Glenugie and Maclean in the first quarter of 2019.
The project team is continuing to identify and assess possible locations and will update the community in the coming months.
Existing permanent asphalt batch plants in Alstonville and Coffs Harbour will supply about 40 per cent of the asphalt needed.
For more information on asphalt supply for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade, visit rms.nsw.gov.au/w2b.
The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade on an 80:20 basis. The upgrade will open to traffic by 2020, weather permitting.