STRONG winds caused havoc on the roads early last week due to fallen trees, while it was the rain that caused further traffic delays in the area over the busy long weekend.
With very high winds hitting the area last Monday night, June 4, the Monaro Highway was closed at Imlay Road around 9pm, and remained closed for over three days, re-opening last Friday morning.
A large number of trees had fallen across the highway between Bombala and Cann River, mostly on the Victorian side of the border, and crews worked for days to clear away the debris.
One driver estimated over 50 trees downed between Cann River and Bombala on her return trip to the area once most of the debris had been cleared.
Of course such a long closure caused great inconvenience for many locals doing business with Victoria, and travellers as well, with all having to find alternate routes, or source supplies elsewhere.
Due to the rain that fell the same evening, the highway was also closed briefly at Parsonage Creek, while rural roads including Tantawangalo Road and Tayfield Road were also affected by downed trees and heavy rain.
A bridge on Jingallala River in the district’s south had to be closed until temporary repairs could be made to the approaches which had washed away, while there was flooding right along the Snowy River.
In Bombala the river passed the minor flood level and peaked at 3.4 metres on Tuesday evening, while at McKillop’s Bridge flooding continued for days, with the river peaking at around 5 metres on Wednesday.
With our local area receiving around 62mm of rain over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Monaro Highway experienced problems in the opposite direction later in the week.
Due to the rain event, previous patching jobs failed at the northern end of the Bibbenluke bridge, with Council forced to close one lane of the highway on Friday.
Due to a spring under the original road and ongoing rain, considerable excavation and repair work was required on the section of road, with work ceasing over the weekend, leaving one lane partially closed.
This was obviously bad timing given the increase of traffic over the long weekend, and of course there were some delays with the partial closure of the lane.
At the time of printing work was scheduled to restart on Tuesday morning, June 12, with hopes both lanes would be open at the close of the day.