Wollondilly Mayor Matt Gould will be seeking Council endorsement to advocate for Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to urgently prioritise repairs to Barkers Lodge Road.
The Wollondilly Shire experienced record rainfall throughout March and April 2022 which triggered landslips and rockfalls across the Shire and caused significant damage to Council’s road infrastructure.
Barkers Lodge Road at Picton suffered major landslips during the series of intense storm events; and has subsequently operated with a single lane open and traffic signals in place to manage the traffic flow.
Mayor Matt Gould explained, “Following the initial clean-up, investigations were undertaken to design a retaining structure which would allow Barkers Lodge Road to be fully and safely reopened. ARTC is currently reviewing the proposed design for the repairs, prepared by Council’s consultant. Work on the site cannot occur without ARTC approval.”
“ARTC has now advised that the rail line will need to be shut down while the repair works are undertaken and has proposed two dates, in December 2022 and March 2023, for work to be done during their next scheduled rail maintenance works.”
“I will be asking Council at its next meeting to urgently request that ARTC make an earlier date available so that the work on site can start. We need to commence works as soon as possible to restore this important connecting road for the residents of our Shire.”
“Barkers Lodge Road is a busy road, and while the current traffic signals are useful to keep the road open and drivers safe, they cause significant delays for local residents and are not an appropriate long-term solution.”
“I am aware that the rail line is part of a major freight and passenger route, so we need to work with ARTC to make sure that this issue is resolved as quickly as possible; but they should be aware of the impact it is having on our residents.”
“In the meantime, we will be looking into the timing of the settings of the traffic lights to minimise delays and maintain safety,” he said.