Local contractors started construction of $1million worth of footpaths in the Tamworth Region last week with pouring of concrete in locations in Tamworth and Manilla.
Funding for the footpaths was due to a successful application in January by Tamworth Regional Council of a Federal government grant under the Drought Communities Programme initiative.
Tamworth Regional Council Manager Infrastructure and Works, Murray Russell, said the funding will provide about 15 years worth of footpath construction work in Barraba, Manilla and Tamworth within six months.
“Council would typically allocate $60,000 a year towards new footpaths and this funding means we are able to complete works at 23 locations by the middle of 2020 which was not expected to be funded for some years,” he said.
Mr Russell said the funding will deliver more good news for the local community in having improved pedestrian safety and connectivity over 4 kilometres of new footpaths.
“Under this funding, Council is required to use local contractors to do the construction with the aim being to help overcome the negative financial impacts of the drought on our local economy,” he said. “Two primary contractors and subcontractors with local employees are seeing the financial benefits first hand following a competitive tender process.”
Mr Russell said the project is seen as essential construction work during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr Russell said contractors were expected to self manage the risks of COVID-19 as part of their work health and safety responsibilities, where common examples of physical distancing included:
– Each worker only using own tools;
– Single operator per plant;
– Buddy system where crews broken into two-man teams with separate meal breaks;
– Concrete truck driver to remain in the truck during pours and wash the barrel out at a different location.
The funding will be broken into two stages with $900,000 to be spent in the 2019/2020 year and the final $100,000 to be spent in the 2020/2021 financial year.
The new footpaths will be built 1.5 metres wide and constructed in line with Council’s engineering and design plans.