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George Bass Drive clearing and upgrade to begin in coming weeks

Eurobodalla Council is upgrading the notorious bends at Grandfathers Gully on George Bass Drive between Surf Beach and Lilli Pilli. The first thing to do is to remove a swathe of vegetation to allow the bypass. Normally such works would see community consultation and, at the minimum, a walk through with community representatives to identify critical habit trees but in the case of Grandfathers Gully it is understood that Council is choosing to fast track the work and plans to begin vegetation removal in the coming weeks. This is of concern to community members given the disappointment of Council's handling of the South Congo Road construction that initially saw the community involved and included in the design and the sign off of the trees that would be removed, identifying those that needed to be preserved. Having an understood agreement of the extent of clearing and then seeing the results of the final road works the community were at first elated and then shattered when a further twenty trees were removed at the whim of a senior Council employee who claimed to feel "threatened" by their presence justifying the expediate removal by saying there were funds remaining in the annual budget that needed to be spent. This action has left the Bingie community gutted and further disillusioned and distrustful of Council. Their concerns have now been communicated to the community around Grandfathers Gully.

Council received $3.8 million in Commonwealth Government funding toward the road safety improvements, which will include removing the tight bends, providing protected right-turn intersections to Grandfathers Gully Road and Denise Drive as well as widened lanes, centreline treatments and shoulders, improved lighting, delineation and protective fencing.

The upgrade will improve line of sight for drivers and provide safer access for residents to George Bass Drive from Grandfathers Gully Road and Denise Drive. It will also include a connection for a future off-road shared pathway to link Malua Bay, Lilli Pilli and Surf Beach to existing networks that will eventually connect Malua Bay cyclists to Batemans Bay and even Surfside.

Council say “The new road alignment and road formation will provide for vastly improved road safety and capacity to meet current and future traffic volumes using this critical regional transport route.

Fill removed from the site will be re-used to prepare for broader road safety improvements along the route to Malua Bay and the Guerilla Bay intersection.

Council has already completed preliminary shoulder widening work.

Residential access will be maintained, including for emergencies and Council will be in direct contact with residents to inform them of the construction arrangements.

Above: Eurobodalla Council set to realign a notorious section of George Bass Drive, between Surf Beach and Lilli Pilli.