Upper Hunter Shire Council (UHSC) has voted to approve a $5 million loan facility to fund continuing works on the Merriwa to Willow Tree Road

Upper Hunter Shire Council (UHSC) has voted to approve a $5 million loan facility to fund continuing works on the Merriwa to Willow Tree Road.

Problems with the road known as MR 358 or Coulson Creek Road first appeared in October and November 2019, with further cracking in the pavement appearing in February 2020.

After a site inspection in March, Council engaged Geotechnical engineers Douglas Partners those advice on the condition of road and associated infrastructure meant that from March 5 a five tonne load limit and single lane was put in place.

Commenting on the issue before the Council vote last week UHSC, general manager Steve McDonald said "This was always going to be a highly technical challenge on a difficult site. However, the work undertaken last year by Upper Hunter Shire Council has not met the specifications and the job needs to be redone to meet specifications."

The decision to approve the loan facility will facilitate the completion of current ongoing road infrastructure works at MR358 and provide Council with possible funding towards other major road infrastructure works.

A majority of councillors (Burns, Campbell, Fisher, Collison) voted to support the following:

(Crs Abbott and Watts voted against. Other Crs were apologies)

That Council:

1. Resolve to execute the drawdown of the approved loan facility supplied by Treasury Corporation relating to Road Infrastructure works to the value of $5,000,000.

2. Provide delegated authority to the Mayor and General Manager to approve any required loan documentation to facilitate the drawdown of the loan facility.

3. Direct the General Manager to audit all projects with the value of $1,000,000 and over to ensure the appropriate and available insurances are in place so as to protect the UHSC from further exposure and report the findings of said audit to the August meeting of the UHSC Audit Risk and Improvement committee.

4. Direct the General Manager to create a project management guideline for all projects undertaken by the UHSC. This guideline is to be reviewed by the UHSC Audit Risk and improvement committee before being submitted to the Infrastructure Services Committee for notation.

More information on the MR 358 project can be found here https://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/.../merriwa-to-willow-tree-roa...