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Araluen Road resilience work


Work is underway to upgrade the temporary detour around the Knowles Creek landslide on Araluen Road.

Eurobodalla Council will grade and gravel re-sheet the Forestry trails at a cost of around $450,000, taking three to four weeks to complete the work. The roadsides have also been sprayed to bring regrowth under control and maintain sight lines for those using the detour.

The aim is to provide a safer route back to Moruya for residents of the Araluen valley while a permanent road solution is built.

Around 70 properties are located along Araluen Road, which stretches from Moruya to Braidwood in mountainous terrain. Two landslides caused by fires and floods, one last November at Knowles Creek 23km west of Moruya and the other in May at the 43km mark near Merricumbene, have kept the road closed to all but residents.

Council expects to announce a funded solution for a new road around the Knowles Creek landslide in the coming weeks.

However, the road at Merricumbene is closed for the foreseeable future following the discovery of a major slip failure above the landslide. Drone footage shows a large movement of material on the mountain slope downward toward the road. Signage is in place warning people to stay out of the area.

This means residents living west of the Merricumbene slip have no direct access back to Moruya, only to Araluen and Braidwood.

Terrain around Merricumbene is very steep and Council says finding an alternate access will be challenging, however, solutions are being explored. Staff will meet with residents in June to discuss the road issues.

Closer to Moruya, road stabilisation work will start on Monday between Larrys Mountain Road and Knowles Creek to reduce the risk of further road collapse. Council is asking motorists other than residents to avoid this section of road until the works are complete.

Meanwhile, Eurobodalla’s bushfire recovery service will head out to meet residents of Araluen Road this weekend. While some residents are already receiving support from case managers and Council is assisting individuals wherever possible, this is an opportunity to check in and find out what other practical help is needed at this time.

Above: Drone footage shows a major slip failure above the existing landslide on Araluen Road at Merricumbene, closing the road at that point for the foreseeable future. Council expects to announce a solution for a new road around the Knowles Creek slip in coming weeks.

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