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Nailing repair work on Putty Road

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One of the Hunter’s notorious stretches, Putty Road, will undergo unique maintenance work following recent natural disasters.

The thoroughfare was significantly damaged at Terrys Creek during a severe weather event in June 2022, resulting in multiple landslips.

Permanent repairs – including steel nails up to 12 metres in length being drilled into the steep slopes southwest of Mount Thorley – are scheduled to take place, from Monday 22 January, over three kilometres at nine locations.

The work is expected to be complete by mid-2024, weather permitting.

Repair work will start on Putty Road from Monday 22 January.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has been managing this section of Putty Road following the disastrous 2022 event, allowing this essential route to remain open to traffic by installing lane closures and traffic control.

“The start of construction is a welcome step forward in getting our road network rebuilt,” NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said.

“Importantly, this work is not about just rebuilding roads back to the standard they were at before the disasters… we’re also making sure they’re better protected against future landslips.

“It’ll include a technique known as ‘soil nailing’, where specialist crews drill holes into the soil surrounding Putty Road so steel bars can be inserted and grout filled to stabilise the ground and make the road more resilient.

“It’s a testament to the skills and dedication of the crews working on Transport for NSW projects across the state that we will be able to complete this vital road work.”

Australian Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said it was one of a range of recovery activities being undertaken along Putty Road to reconnect Upper Hunter communities.

“This is a significant transport route,” he explained.

“As crews continue to work through and complete works like bridge repairs, clearing landslip sites, repairing erosion and installing new drainage, the beginning of soil stabilisation works along this section marks a major milestone on the road’s restoration.”

Hunter MP Dan Repacholi welcomed the much-needed enhancements.

“Different locations along this section of road will require different stabilisation techniques, which includes rock fill, while the length of the individual slopes range from around 60 metres to 190 metres,” he said.

“It requires the use of fall restraint systems including elevated work platforms and, in some cases, workers will need to abseil off the face of the slope.

“In addition to stabilising the slopes, work will see the reinstatement of a one-metre wide shoulder and installation of new guardrail for motorists’ safety.”

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