Can our roads handle this much impact from this project?
The construction period for Winterbourne Wind is expected to last approximately 2 YEARS with peak construction lasting 9 MONTHS
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1. Vehicles will travel from Newcastle up the New England Highway to Bendemeer.
2. From Bendemeer turning right up the Oxley Highway to Walcha.
3. Turning left at the Sale Yards and along Darjeeling Road
4. Past Betts Transport and right onto Thunderbolts Way.
5. Then turning left at the Show Ground, past Brian Smith and Marchant’s yards
6. Heading east, out along the Emu Creek and Moona Plains Roads
Source: Vestas communication
Vestas has indicated during a recent meeting, that the trip from Tamworth to Walcha, with the oversized trucks, carrying 80m turbine blades and 6m diameter tower sections, will take 2 hours. This appears optimistic, however, what we are more concerned about is the section of road between Bendemeer and Walcha. This is a road that has limited options for overtaking a regular vehicle, let alone a truck. Consider a 85m truck slowly negotiating bridges, bends, or other obstacles. The 6m diameter tower sections, we are informed, will require both lanes in many areas. Complete road blockages will be frequent and time consuming. This will be occurring over a two and half year period. We are concerned about regular traffic for shopping, tourism, medical appointments, couriers, goods transport (including time critical freight), school bus traffic, and of course, emergencies. We are concerned that the design and quality of our pavement is simply not capable of withstanding the loads and frequency of the anticipated heavy vehicle transport. We are concerned that Vestas have not done their due diligence, or carried out sufficient research, to understand the nature of these roads, and they unsuitability for this type of transport loading. We anticipate that the developer will receive access to our road network following negotiation with council regarding the necessary modification and upgrade of roads prior to the project starting. What is concerning, however, is the lack of commitment from the developer to make good the repairs of the road network at the completion of the project. In practical terms, how can this be enforced satisfactorily?
The images below are borrowed from other projects, but demonstrate the challenge to other road users.