New traction for street seal
A long-running campaign to have the western end of Sloane Street in Deniliquin sealed is finally gaining some traction.
Some residents in the area made a new appeal to the merged Edward River Council during its budget process this year.
Residents made a presentation at council’s April meeting, and Richard and Elaine Walker, whose property is accessed on that section of Sloane St, followed up the request with an official submission to council’s operational plan (budget).
The couple’s letter urged council to use its so far unallocated $500,000 Stronger Communities major projects program funding to pay for the seal.
Some Sloane St residents have been calling for the road to be sealed for at least 20 years, and Mrs Walker said it’s great to finally see more progress.
‘‘Adam McSwain (council general manager) and (mayor) Norm Brennan came to meet with us on site and in the latest letter they said council would meet with us on site later in the year.
‘‘Given we have had this kind of response, we’re hoping something will come of it.
‘‘We are going to stay on their case until something is done.’’
Mrs Walker said given the road leads to a public boat ramp and their section of Sloane St is home to an automotive business, the amount of dust thrown into the air by traffic is significant.
She said their homes are consistently covered in thick layers of dust, preventing them from opening their windows and doors, hanging washing outside and even investing in solar energy alternatives.
For Mrs Walker, the consistent dust exacerbates her worsening medical condition. She suffers from sarcoidosis which affects her lungs and laryngospasm which causes her throat to close without warning.
‘‘Sarcoidosis affects people differently and for me it affects my lungs, and it does not take much to aggravate it,’’ Mrs Walker said.
‘‘If it’s a windy day, I can’t even go outside because of my lungs.
‘‘I’ve had the laryngospasm for the last 18 months and it is worsening. We’re not sure if the dust is the cause, but it certainly doesn’t help.
‘‘We’ve been on to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and they have been very supportive, and suggested monitoring the pollution but that would cost $20,000.
‘‘We are of the opinion that traffic has increased (on Sloane St) and while we’re all for local tourism, during the (annual) Fishing Classic it’s just constant dust (because of the number of people accessing the Sloane St boat ramp).’’
Despite the perceived increase in traffic, council still classifies the western end of Sloane St as a low impact road.
Mayor Norm Brennan said a variety of solutions to the problem are being investigated.
‘‘We’re doing some extensive research, looking at different types of treatment instead of a traditional seal,’’ he said.
‘‘To do that we have to take soil samples and look at the road structure, and there are a few other similar roads where we’re looking at conducting trials.’’
Cr Brennan said while there have been no decisions made, a suggestion is investigating an Otta seal.
Council director infrastructure Oliver McNaulty said an Otta seal is less expensive and traditionally uses local materials not as hard as the stones used on roads with heavier traffic.
‘‘The trouble is accessing that material locally, and it may also be bumpier and noisy,’’ Mr McNaulty said.
‘‘We may also look at recycling materials. A traditional seal can cost between $200,000 and $300,000 per kilometre.’’