Gwydir Hwy could be closed to heavy vehicles for two months
UPDATE: ROADS Minister Duncan Gay has said the Gwydir Hwy will remain closed for several more days due to the extreme weather conditions on New South Wales' north coast.
"Bushfires and floods have taken a heavy toll on the roads and the NSW Government is working hard to get roads reopened and necessary repairs carried out," Mr Gay said.
There are still several road closures across northern NSW including sections of the Pacific Hwy.
The Pacific Hwy is closed at various locations between Grafton on Iluka north of Maclean. Closures are expected to remain in place for several days, with local access only.The most extensive damage appears to be on the Gwydir Hwy between Grafton and Glen Innes with numerous landslides and fallen trees.
"RMS crews have been attending the site clearing the debris to determine the damage. Geotechnical specialists are also assessing the site for stability.
"Until floood waters recede RMS is unable to determine the extent of the damage but over the next three or four days, are expecting to be able to open one lane to light vehicles only."
Some simple measures motorists should take in flood conditions:
· Do not drive unless your journey is absolutely necessary;
· If you have to drive in a flooded area, take care. Do not attempt to drive through water if you are unsure of the depth;
· Don't drive through fast moving water such as at a flooded bridge approach - your car could be swept away;
· When driving through water, drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a wave and allow on-coming traffic to pass first;
· Keep the engine revs high otherwise water in the exhaust could stall the engine;
· If your car stalls, immediately abandon it and climb to higher ground. Watch your footing. Just six inches of fast moving flood water can sweep you off your feet; and
· Test your brakes as soon as you can after driving through water.
IT COULD take six to eight weeks before the Gwydir Hwy is once again open to heavy vehicles.
The NSW Roads and Maritime Services released a statement saying recent adverse weather resulted in three landslips on the Gibraltar Range which damaged and closed the Gwydir Hwy.
The highway is closed about 70km west of Grafton at Jackadgery, at the Gibraltar Ranges at Glen Innes and just west of Moree at Pallamallawa.
"Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has staff onsite working to repair and reopen the highway as quickly as possible," the statement said.
One lane of the highway is expected to reopen to light vehicles only in the next three to four days. Motorists are advised it could be a further six to eight weeks before the highway is open to heavy vehicles.
Motorists have been advised to drive with caution, obey all signs, including detours and reduced speed limits and to allow extra travel time.
"Every effort is being made to minimise the impact on motorists, local residents and business operators."
For traffic information contact the Transport Management Centre on 132 701 or visit the live traffic website.