General Manager comments on Farrer Road
Published: 10 Jan 2020 2:12pm
Wagga residents are about to see a strange sight at the Farrer Road upgrade project resulting from delays to remove a power pole at the construction site.
Wagga Wagga City Council General Manager Peter Thompson said construction will continue around the pole until its removal and wanted to keep residents updated on the situation.
“Prior to the bushfire emergency, Council arranged for Essential Energy to temporarily disconnect power at the Farrer Road construction site,” Mr Thompson said.
“The power outage is required to permit Council contractors to remove a power pole from the middle of the new road and establish new power supply arrangements.”
The outage was arranged to take place on Thursday 9 January.
Mr Thompson said Essential Energy has advised that all their staff who are able to turn the power off, to enable line works to be carried out, have been deployed to assist in the bushfire emergency.
“Essential Energy simply has no one in Wagga who can turn the power off to enable Council to attend to the power pole disconnection and removal, and they have indicated that the earliest possible date that they might be able to turn the power off is now 30 January,” Mr Thompson said.
“The problem for Council is that the pole is literally in the middle of the construction site. If Council directs the construction contractor to stop work until Essential Energy are able to turn the power off, the penalties payable by Council to the contractor under the contract would be nearly $250,000.
“This cost would accrue up to the date that Essential Energy has indicated that it might have staff to turn the power off. If the date pushes out further, the cost will similarly increase. It would also mean that The Riverina Anglican College would have resumed lessons for the year and school traffic and buses will need to use the road again. Neither of these outcomes are acceptable to Council.”
Mr Thompson confirmed works will continue to ensure there is no penalty to Council.
“So, the strange sight Wagga residents might see on Farrer Road is a power pole emerging from the middle of the new roadway,” he said.
“In every respect it will look ludicrous. Never-the-less, it will save up to $250,000 and the decision enables the works to continue and be generally on track when school resumes at the end of the month.”
Mr Thompson said when Essential Energy advises it has staff in Wagga who can turn the power off to enable Council contractors to attend to the new line work, Council will arrange for the pole to be removed as originally planned for 9 January.