Chris Kirby is unhappy with the state of the road outside his Tweed Lane residence.
Chris Kirby is unhappy with the state of the road outside his Tweed Lane residence. Josh Preston

HOLEY SMOKES: Why this Gympie road still hasn't been fixed

A TWEED Lane resident has slammed Gympie Regional Council for its "inefficiency” as he continues to wait for the road outside his home to be fixed.

A series of burst water mains caused the council to begin treatment of the road in early April, but Chris Kirby said repeated failures to complete the road works had resulted in unnecessary delays.

"It's taken from the first of April and they're still going on this road,” Mr Kirby said.

Chris Kirby is unhappy with the state of the Tweed Lane road.
A council crew works on the Tweed Lane road after repeated burst water mains. Josh Preston

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"They didn't do it - they went off to another job because they reckon it was an emergency, now they're coming back and saying 'sorry' and 'we'll come back on Thursday'.

"Why has there been a delay from April until now? They've made it a one-way road.

"They say 'it's an old pipe, we should dig up the road and repair the pipes'. Why don't they? Do the job properly - we're paying for it. Why don't you fix up the roads properly?”

Mr Kirby criticised council's lack of communication during the roadwork process, and said their failure to speak with Tweed Lane residents had added to his frustrations.

"No communications at all, the roadworks started and then they were finished, they promised one thing and they didn't do (it) at all, they're digging a hole, filling it back in, putting barriers around it and saying that's it. That's the state of your road from the first of April.”

Council conducts road works on Tweed Lane.
Council conducts road works on Tweed Lane. Contributed

Mr Kirby said the road's disrepair had restricted him from being able to safely drive his "30-tonne” coach to and from his house.

He claimed his personal carer had previously "nearly fallen in” the hole with her car.

A council spokeswoman said crews had been re-diverted from Tweed Lane last week due to another emergency breakage.

"Council's priority (is) to ensure residents are not without water,” the spokeswoman said.

"Due to the crews being redirected last week, council was on site today to continue to clean up as scheduled. The resident has been contacted and informed the roads work is scheduled for (this) Thursday.”

The spokeswoman disputed Mr Kirby's claims council had not properly communicated with Tweed Lane residents, and said long-term replacement of the "brittle” Tweed Lane water main was in development.

Council conducts road works on Tweed Lane.
Council conducts road works on Tweed Lane. Contributed

"Following on from written contact, council have also spoken to the resident and advised the full water main would need replacing to ensure future breaks do not occur, following this the entire length of read would also be resealed to ensure a neat finish. 

"Water has also been delivered to the resident on several occasions. council have had ongoing contact the resident, and staff have gone to great lengths to ensure the 14 households were kept informed.

"Council contacts residents direct with written communication, however should a resident require further information or have any questions, please call 1300 307 800.

"The water main in Tweed Lane is ... near the end of its useful life.

"Replacement of the Tweed Lane main is being planned with the assistance of Councils Design department. A full reseal of the road will be included in these plans.”

FULL GYMPIE REGIONAL COUNCIL RESPONSE - TWEED LANE

A report was received at 4pm on Friday, 25 May of a burst in Tweed Lane, Gympie. This main has a history of bursts, with six bursts in the preceding 12 months - the most recent on 22 May.

Crews attended site and worked in the rain into the night. Repairs were completed around 7:45pm. On recharging the main a further burst occurred and had to be repaired as well. This was completed by 11:00pm. The pattern repeated itself when the main was put back on line, with another burst occurring. By this time crews had been at work for over 14 hours and were stood down due to fatigue. Residents (about 14 households) were advised that they would be without water overnight and bottled water was made available.

Crews returned to site on Saturday morning and repaired the third burst, then the fourth after that, not far from the previous burst location. The main was finally brought back on line at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon. Although they were without water for over 22 hours, the residents were very understanding and very patient during this time and Council thanks all the residents for their patience.

The provision of bottled water and ongoing communication by Council staff were on hand to support the residents. Councils Infrastructure Services Roads Maintenance crews were in the lane on Monday morning, reinstating the road surface.

The water main in Tweed Lane is 100mm AC, which is clearly near the end of its useful life. AC pipe is relatively brittle and becomes more brittle with age. A single burst often leads to multiple bursts as the stress of a break can produce multiple cracks, as evidenced here. The relatively high pressure at the low part in Tweed Lane exacerbated the problem.

Replacement of the Tweed Lane main is being planned with the assistance of Councils Design department. A full reseal of the road will be included in these plans. In the meantime an additional isolation valve has been installed in the main. A pressure reducing valve has been ordered and will be installed as soon as available to reduce the likelihood of further bursts until a new main is installed.