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$5 million project to stabilise Memorial Drive bank

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To the relief of many residents, work will start next month on a $5 million project to stabilise an embankment alongside Memorial Drive.

Newcastle councillors voted last week to accept a tender for the venture, which is set to repair the 115m-long section of the ridge compromised by a land slip during a period of significant rainfall.  

Memorial Drive remains one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city, with 10,000 vehicles travelling upon it daily.

Interim protection measures have been in place since the land slip, with temporary footpath access reinstated in 2023.

A retaining wall will be constructed as part of the stabilisation works, with a series of steel-reinforced concrete piles to be poured vertically through the underlying rock. 

Upgrades at the base of the existing stormwater channel will also help improve the flow of water during periods of heavy rain. 

This will be followed by construction of a new street-level footpath on top of the renewed embankment to replace the temporary access.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the complex project would ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists.

“We’ve carried out extensive geotechnical investigations to determine the work, which takes into consideration the constraints presented by this site,” she explained.

“The project is considered a priority to prevent future rain events further impacting the embankment, footpath and road.

“We will be able to deliver this development with minimal disruption to traffic, maintaining the two-lane, two-way traffic flow on Memorial Drive for the duration of the construction.”

The project is being delivered by City of Newcastle (CN) with about $3 million funding from the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery Program. 

“We’re proud to be a major partner in this important restoration project,” Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon said.

“It will facilitate greater accessibility and improve safety for Novocastrians on a beloved section of our coastline.”

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