Welcome news for motorists today – new technology, combined with continuing construction after dark, will put the Station Street Upgrade back on track. Minimising inconvenience for motorists has been Wingecarribee Shire Council’s priority following the discovery of hazardous Coal Tar during roadworks, and the project team have succeeded in quickly finding an innovative solution for its safe removal.
“We looked into cutting-edge pavement solutions and found a technology used very successfully in Europe, which is relatively new to Australia,” says Karin Targa. “EME2 is an ultra-hard binder and asphalt which forms a thinner but stronger, structural layer of road surfacing. What this means is that we can minimise the amount of coal tar that needs to be removed for works to proceed as planned, in a way that will significantly reduce the cost of removal.”
Continuing works into the night, on Station Street in Bowral, will help to make up for lost time. Council is striving to still re-open the road in time for Easter travel and local trade.
“We visited the street’s shop owners and connected with users who told us that they want the thoroughfare fully re-opened as quickly as possible,” Karin says. “Putting in the additional hours and applying this new surfacing, which doesn’t need to be laid as thick as regular bitumen, should enable us to complete the works sooner than we anticipated following this set-back.”
The evening construction activities will involve removing ‘coal tar’ from the road pavement starting from Sunday 5 March and likely to continue until early April. Works will be undertaken by specialist contractors who will remove and remediate the site between the hours of 7pm and 4am. To enable staff and contractors to undertake the works in safety the evening roadworks will be performed under full road closure with access provided for businesses as required.
Coal tar is a byproduct of the production of coke and coal gas and a known carcinogen. When excavated and removed coal tar does not present any health and safety risks. It is likely the source of the coal tar was from former industries that occupied the site decades ago.
“We thank all road users and businesses for the patience and understanding they continue to show as we work towards building a better Bowral for everyone.”