An image of what a temporary asphalt batch plant between Maclean and Devils Pulpit would look like.
An image of what a temporary asphalt batch plant between Maclean and Devils Pulpit would look like. Roads and Maritime Services

HIGHWAY: RMS gives three options for asphalt

THE RMS is going back to the drawing board to help create the 240,000 tonnes of asphalt needed to complete the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Following a protest by members of the Woombah community over the previously planned position for the asphalt plant, the RMS has selected three sites between Maclean and Devils Pulpit, and will seek feedback from the community on the sites.

The three sites are located at Harwood, within the current work complex near Watts Lane, within the current compound at Mororo, and the previously slated site at Woombah.

Proposed asphalt batch plant locations
Proposed asphalt batch plant locations Roads and Maritime Services

"As part of seeking feedback, the project team will speak one-on-one with directly impacted residents and hold community information sessions,” an RMS spokesman said.

"Additionally, the team has analysed community and stakeholder feedback from other temporary batch plants and has used this to put in place mitigation measures for traffic, safety and the environment.”

Previously, the Woombah community had raised concerns over the Woombah site with regard to health impacts, dust and emissions from the plant as well as traffic concerns.

In their most recent project update, the RMS has stated that they have created mitigation measures within the new proposal.

These include creating a separate construction vehicle only accesses and minimising interactions between local and through traffic and construction heavy vehicles and the installation of particulate extraction equipment and water spraying on aggregate stockpiles.

There will be three information sessions in November to provide the community with opportunities to discuss the temporary asphalt plant between Maclean and Devils Pulpit with project staff. The information sessions will be held on:

Saturday November 3, 12-2pm, Woombah Recreational Reserve, Middle Street, Woombah.

Monday November 5, 5-7pm, Mororo site compound, Gate 95.1, Pacific Highway, Mororo

Tuesday November 6, 5-7pm, Harwood Community Hall, River Street, Harwood.

This plant is one of two that the RMS have identified to supply the estimated 170,000 tonnes of asphalt that is required to be supplied to complete the highway upgrade after 70,000 tonnes will be sourced from existing plants in Ballina and Coffs Harbour.

The project team is continuing to identify and assess possible locations between Glenugie and Maclean for a second temporary asphalt batch plant and will update the community in coming months once it has a shortlist of sites.

The community has the opportunity to give feedback on the shortlisted sites until Friday November 9.

After the consultation period closes, the project team will consider community feedback as part of the environmental assessment of the proposal for a temporary asphalt batch plant.

The Pacific Highway upgrade is expected to be fully completed by 2020, weather permitting.