More as­bestos con­tam­i­na­tion found

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Beat­tie

Main Roads has dis­cov­ered the as­bestos con­tam­i­na­tion on the Kar­ratha to Tom Price Road is 38 times worse than orig­i­nally ex­pected.

At the end of Septem­ber an ini­tial Main Roads sur­vey iden­ti­fied 360 cu­bic me­tres of as­bestos was vis­i­ble where the new Stage 3 of the road was be­ing con­structed.

But now as­bestos re­moval con­trac­tors have dis­cov­ered ad­di­tional ar­eas of con­tam­i­na­tion that were not vis­i­ble, ac­cord­ing to Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts.

“The vol­ume of con­tam­i­nated soil could be as much as 14,000sqm; how­ever this was not an un­ex­pected find,” he said.

Main Roads be­lieve the ad­di­tional re­moval works will mean a higher cost, but it is not ex­pected it will cause a de­lay to the project.

“Main Roads still ex­pects to com­plete the re­quired re­me­di­a­tion works dur­ing De­cem­ber al­low­ing Stage 3 con­struc­tion to com­mence as planned in April 2019,” Mr Roberts said.

“How­ever, it is likely that the in­creased re­me­di­a­tion works will in­cur ad­di­tional costs but a full cost es­ti­mate can­not be de­ter­mined un­til fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions are com­pleted.”

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia has raised con­cerns about the health risk the ad­di­tional as­bestos could pose.

“The min­is­ter for trans­port needs to step in and pro­vide cer­tainty for road users to clear the road of as­bestos and en­sure the health risk is min­imised,” he said.

“Safety is para­mount and if it costs more, so be it.

“The Gov­ern­ment now, since the GST wind­fall, should be ded­i­cat­ing funds to seal the en­tirety of the road for the safety of com­muters and to en­sure rate pay­ers and the Shire of Ash­bur­ton aren’t bur­dened with the cost.”

How­ever, Main Roads is cer­tain the ad­di­tional as­bestos is of no threat to any­one.

“The ad­di­tional as­bestos con­tam­i­nated ma­te­rial is buried un­der­neath the edge of the road and there­fore poses no risk to road users trav­el­ling on the Roe­bourne Wit­tenoom Road,” Mr Roberts said.

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