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News, road works

Concrete retaining walls for scenic Bald Hill climb

bald hill LHD google streetview

The climb to Bald Hill at Stanwell Park will undergo landslip prevention measures, including concrete retaining walls, next year. Picture: Google Streetview

CONCRETE retaining walls will be built along sections of the scenic escarpment drive at Stanwell Park to the famed Bald Hill in an effort to prevent erosion and landslides.

The work will be carried out by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) on Lawrence Hargrave Drive in two stages next year and will require full road closures, each lasting four weeks. The first four-week closure is proposed during February/March 2020 and the second during May/June 2020.

A spokesperson for the RMS said the work, which would be carried out along the steep escarpment climb between Otford Road and Chellow Dene Avenue, was essential to keep the road safe and open to traffic in the long term.

“We have conducted in-depth geotechnical investigations and have identified a number of places where we need to carry out work to stabilise the slope and reduce the risk of land slips,” the spokesperson said.

“Lawrence Hargrave Drive crosses the Illawarra Escarpment and slope movement can frequently occur, resulting in cracking in the road surface and shoulders.

“Work will include the installation of mesh and soil nails (steel bars up to 13 metres long) to reinforce and strengthen the ground, as well as building a concrete retaining wall.”

The spokesperson said Roads and Maritime is inviting the community to give feedback on the closure and the proposed work dates.

“This feedback will help us to determine the time frame for this work and to alert us to any issues or concerns the community may have,” the spokesperson said.

“We will use this information to help minimise the impact of the work as much as possible.”

The road will be closed to all traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, seven days a week 24 hours a day

The spokesperson said it was necessary to close this section of Lawrence Hargrave Drive due to the narrow and winding nature of the road.

“The road at this location is narrow and work involves using large machinery and drilling equipment which doesn’t leave enough room for vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists to pass safely,” the spokesperson said.

Residents within the closure area will be able to access their property at all times.

Detours for all other motorists will be in place via Bulli Pass and the M1 Princes Motorway.

Once community feedback is reviewed, Roads and Maritime will provide updates about outcomes and work details.

To get more information and provide feedback, please visit the project website at rms.work/lhd-closure and click on the survey link by 5pm, Friday 16 August 2019.

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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