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Merriwa to Willow Tree Road closed next week

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The Merriwa to Willow Tree Road will be closed next week.

Upper Hunter Shire Council has said that geotechnical investigations need to be carried out which will require the road surface to be excavated to varying depths.

The decision to close the road has come following consultation with tenderers and geotechnical engineers who requested the final phase of geotechnical investigations be carried out prior to the road design tender closure. 

Apart from being a necessary part of the tender process, Council said they want to ensure the safety of all road users during the upgrading of the road. 

Council said it's estimated the road will be closed from 9am Monday 23 November to 5pm Friday 27 November. 

The investigations will be used to provide more information to the tenders and provide important details regarding foundation and structural requirements the design engineers will have to take into consideration. 

That could potentially reduce the risk of significant costs and variations in the design and construction stages of the project. 

Council apologises for the inconvenience to the road users and the community. 

The alternative route for motorists wanting to travel this road will be via the New England Highway and the Scone to Merriwa Road with expected additional time being approximately 30 minutes, for the 44 kilometres. 

Upper Hunter Shire Council is calling for tenders to design the rebuild of the Merriwa to Willow Tree Road. 

Council admitted they "stuffed up" the road project earlier this year and that fixing the road will take an estimated three years after work Council staff did on the road last year failed to meet the specifications required. 

Once the designs are finalised for the 3km section of the road, Council will invite tenders early to mid 2021 for the reconstruction of the redesigned road between Merriwa and Willow Tree. A two year construction period is anticipated following the award of contract.

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse