After almost a decade, and strong community demands for action, one of the busiest residential thoroughfares in the Hunter Valley will finally undergo much-needed repairs.
Singleton’s Kelso Street, the scene of the tragic 2012 bus crash which claimed the life of nine-year-old Harry Dunn, is set to receive a three-phase $1.5 million facelift.
The derelict road, plagued by drainage issues as well, also doubles as a primary route for heavy vehicles bypassing the town’s CBD, increasing danger not only for motorists but residents, too.
The scope of Singleton Council’s works include the renewal of the pavement, stormwater drainage upgrade, construction of footpath, kerb and gutter installation, water main replacement and implementation of a five-tonne load limit, which is slated to start in January.
That will minimise any disruption by enabling greater planning time and avoiding the Christmas shutdown period.
The design was a result of extensive consultation on concept options, with locals and the Dunn family, and endorsed by council in 2019.
Director infrastructure and planning Justin Fitzpatrick-Barr said council and the contractors would be in contact with the impacted residents to keep them informed about what was happening.
“The issues affecting Kelso and surrounding streets have a long history stemming from the absence of drainage infrastructure that results in flooding for residential properties,” he stated.
“Council appreciates the frustration experienced by locals and, following years of discussions and possible solutions, it’s great to finally see some action on the ground.
“It’s important to note that this is the first stage in a longer-term project.
“And, while these works will help to improve the situation, it will not solve all flooding issues.
“Stages two and three are planned to occur across three years and will involve installation of a large underground stormwater well with a pumping system.
“However, they are currently the subject of preliminary design, investigation and costing.
“Council is also extremely mindful of the sensitivities around the location.”