A notorious stretch of road known as the ‘Burra S Bends’ will be made safer when a long-awaited reconstruction project commences next week.
The narrow and winding section of Burra Road, south of Queanbeyan, primarily serves local residents but is also a link between the greater Queanbeyan area and Michelago, through to the Snowy-Monaro region.
The Burra S Bends, as they are known to local residents, have been a source of concern to the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) for some time.
QPRC Mayor Tim Overall said he was spoke on behalf of most residents of Burra Valley in saying the long-awaited project will come as a great relief to users of the road.
“Planning for the Burra S Bends project has been ongoing for many years while funding sources have been explored, as well as relevant flora and fauna studies undertaken and government approvals sought,” he said.
Council staff have also met with landowners whose properties are most directly impacted by the works, which has an estimated cost of $2.4 million. Council is coordinating the works, primarily using its own resources but will also engage subcontractors.
“The Burra Road Lobby Group has been a vocal advocate for local residents in seeking safety improvements for the section of road, and I am pleased we can finally deliver on this project,” said Mayor Overall.
The road experiences moderate traffic flow, with an average daily traffic rate of approximately 1000 vehicles. This includes tourists and some heavy vehicles, as well as local residents who know to slow down while driving on the stretch of road.
The project will commence on 11 May and will upgrade approximately 1.7km of Burra Road between Little Burra Road and London Bridge Road.
Preliminary work – such as site establishment, utility adjustment, fencing, installation of erosion and sediment control measures – and clearing works will commence on 11 May before progressing to the main construction works.
Traffic controllers will manage traffic passing through the construction zone during the day. At night, temporary traffic lights – restricting travel to one lane at a time – may also be necessary. QPRC said delays of up to 10 minutes may be expected.
The final stages of the works will include kerb and guttering, pavement construction, pavement sealing, line marking and the installation of guardrails and signage.
In planning for the construction project, studies have been undertaken in regard to threatened flora species; Indigenous or heritage items; threatened ecological communities; threatened fauna species; fauna habitat, including hollow-bearing trees, fallen timber and other large woody debris, and native tree and shrub canopy.
Hollow-bearing trees have been inspected and assessed. A breeding cockatoo survey was completed and a letter of approval to proceed has been granted.
The project is anticipated to take approximately six months and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2020, weather permitting.