A large excavator works to clear lose rock and earth from the cliff adjacent to the Scenic Highway near Statue Bay. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
A large excavator works to clear lose rock and earth from the cliff adjacent to the Scenic Highway near Statue Bay. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Livingstone council seeks support for $23m hwy repair

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council is investigating State and Federal government funding options to help cover the estimated $23 million cost to repair and upgrade the Scenic Hwy at Statue Bay.

The area has suffered landslide and rock fall events since 2008, most recently during Cyclone Marcia, and the northbound lane remains closed.

In April this year, the council engaged engineering firm Hyder Consulting to explore options to repair the damage and improve infrastructure to prevent further incidents during future weather events.

CEO Justin Commons said council was presented a Concept Design Report in July, outlining four reconstruction options, including detailed works and associated costs.

"Council has endorsed the recommended option which includes using a combination of rockbolts, shotcrete and trimming the existing road batter to shore up the upper slopes of the embankment and prevent further landslips," he said.

"This plan also includes lowering the road level, widening the embankment on the sea side of the road and the construction of a retaining wall further down the slope.

"But projects of this scale are not cheap; the costs have been estimated at just over $23 million and we will need external funding to carry out the repairs."

Senior managers from council's infrastructure department met with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority in July to ensure the Statue Bay project meets the criteria for Category B Restoration and Category D Betterment Funding under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements before council makes a submission.

"Council is working closely with the QRA and we will finalise our submission upon confirmation that we meet all the criteria," Mr Commons said.

Scenic Hwy is one of the main tourist routes and up to 6500 cars use the road daily travelling between Yeppoon and Emu Park.

"We estimate a project of this scale will take around 18 months to complete so we want to get actual construction underway as soon as practical."



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