New trac­tion for street seal

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - By ZOE MCMAUGH

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.’’

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