Kempsey Road

UPDATE - 29 MARCH

Kempsey Road is now re-opened to the public following the completion of emergency work between George’s Junction and Lower Creek.
The road is not suitable for RV’s, caravans and trailers, and the 15 tonne load limit remains in place.

UPDATE - 25 MARCH

Kempsey Road is closed to all traffic between Georges Junction and Lower Creek Settlement due to undermining issues. Council crews are working urgently to re-establish access. 

Undermining issue 25 March 2021cropped

UPDATE - 24 MARCH 

Kempsey Road is now re-opened to the general public. The ground remains saturated and motorists are asked to drive to the conditions and exercise extreme caution when using the road.

While the road is now open, only light four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. The road is not suitable for RV’s, caravans and trailers, and the 15 tonne load limit remains in place.

 UPDATE - 22 MARCH 

The Armidale end of Kempsey Road between Blackbird Flat and Raspberry Road remains closed to the public, and Emergency Services are being advised to contact Council if access to the road is essential.

Council crews will continue monitoring the area as best they can to try to keep the road accessible for Emergency Services given the condition of Kempsey Shire and the expected weather conditions.

Kempsey Rd 22 March 2021

UPDATE - 19 MARCH 3PM

Kempsey Road is closed between Blackbird Flat and Raspberry Road. The road condition is dangerous with a number of landslips and rock falls. Council is monitoring the area and will commence recovery works as soon as the weather permits.

UPDATE - 19 MARCH

Kempsey Road is now closed to the public until further notice due to the recent rainfall. The road is considered unsafe and should not be driven between Raspberry Road and Black Bird Flat. 
The road is open to essential and emergency services at this stage, however may be closed at any time.

The community meeting scheduled at Lower Creek RFS Shed for Saturday 20 March has been cancelled. 

UPDATE - 16 MARCH

Since December 2020, works have been undertaken on the pavement, drainage system and localised batter stabilisations. A number of survey and geotechnical investigations have been completed and design has now started.

The weight restriction placed on Kempsey-Armidale Road has now been lifted to 15 tonne. Work carried out to enable this has included road widening and slope stabilisations to meet the requirements of a geotechnical assessment completed in late 2020. The load limit increase was approved by the General Manager in February 2021.

Other emergency works have included temporary pavement repair, drain clearing and addressing numerous rock falls. Hazardous tree clearing works has started and is expected to take about five weeks to complete, weather permitting. 

Kempsey Road March Newsletter (PDF 824.9KB)

UPDATE - 25 FEBRUARY

Work to stabilise a narrowing section of Kempsey Road has now been completed and the Kempsey Road weight limit has been increased to 15 tonne. Signage will be updated progressively as weather permits.

Motorists are reminded that the road alignment has not changed and some areas are challenging, particularly for longer vehicles. With the recent wet weather, road conditions have deteriorated and motorists are urged to drive to the conditions and exercise extreme caution.

Hazardous tree removal work has been postponed due to the recent weather and is now expected to commence from 8 March 2021. The work is expected to take five weeks and motorists should expect delays while this work is completed.

Curve stabilisation - Feb 2021 

UPDATE - 28 JANUARY

The Armidale-Kempsey Road is now open to the public, after safety improvement works were undertaken to rectify storm and flood damage that stemmed from the weather events in December last year.

While the road is open to the general public, only light four-wheel-drives are permitted. RV’s, caravans and trailers are not permitted, and the 4.3 tonne load limit remains in place.

Motorists are being asked to drive to the conditions and exercise extreme caution when using the road.

 

UPDATE - 20 JANUARY

Armidale-Kempsey Road remains closed to traffic between Raspberry Road and the Georges Junction. The road is open to local residents for vehicle access only. 

Council is undertaking safety improvement works to rectify damage sustained during storm and flood events, which began on 10 December 2020.
Temporary rehabilitation works to the pavement on Kempsey Road is being conducted to improve safety. The final pavement reconstruction works is currently being scoped. 
Council will commence hazardous tree removal works along the alignment in mid-February. These works will take approximately four weeks to complete, weather permitting.
Designs for addressing the areas of highest risk are currently being developed and will facilitate emergency works commencing in the coming months. This will include the stabilisation of significant slips on Big Hill.
Aerial survey and geotechnical assessment of the full alignment is currently being undertaken. This information is vital to enable scoping and design of the necessary works to fully reinstate the road.

The 4.3 tonne load limit remains in place for local residents. Residents are asked to drive to the conditions, comply with the directions of traffic controllers, and exercise extreme caution when using the road. All other traffic access remains closed.

Drone footage 2 Drone footage

UPDATE - 8 JANUARY

The road has been cleared at the site of a landslip between Lower Creek and Blackbird Flat. Vehicle access in now available for local residents only.
The Kempsey Road still remains closed to traffic between Raspberry Road and the Georges Junction while safety improvement works are undertaken to rectify damage sustained during storm and flood events which began on 10 December 2020.

Concessions remain in place for limited access for local residents and emergency vehicles to undertake essential activities.

Council road crews will be working in the area from 6am-6pm Monday to Friday under traffic control. Unimpeded access will be available to local residents outside working hours and during the following times: 
9am - 9.30am
12noon - 12.30pm
3pm – 3.30pm
Significant delays outside of these times may be experienced. 

The 4.3 tonne load limit remains in place for local residents. The road condition remains poor with areas of instability and localised rock falls occurring regularly. Residents are asked to drive to the conditions, comply with the directions of traffic controllers, and exercise extreme caution when using the road. All other traffic access remains closed.

 

UPDATE - 7 JANUARY 2021 - 3PM

Council crews have been able to clear a rough track on the road blocked by the landslip between Lower Creek and Blackbird Flat. The area of the landslip is still extremely unstable and localised rock falls are occurring. A geo-technical engineer will assess the site this afternoon.
Residents are asked to only use the road for emergencies and exercise extreme caution if traversing the road. 

 

UPDATE - 7 January 2021

Kempsey Road between Lower Creek and Blackbird Flat is closed by a landslip. A Council work crew is on route to assess the situation and determine if it is safe to clear a path. 

 

UPDATE - 5 January 2021

KEMPSEY ROAD (Between Raspberry Road and the Georges Junction)

The Kempsey Road remains closed to traffic while safety improvement works are undertaken to rectify damage sustained during storm and flood events which began on 10 December 2020.

With the recent closure of Armidale Road east of Bellbrook, concessions have been put in place to provide limited access for local residents and emergency vehicles to undertake essential activities.

Council road crews will be working in the area from 6am-6pm Monday to Friday under traffic control. Unimpeded access will be available to local residents outside working hours and during the following times: 
9am - 9.30am
12noon - 12.30pm
3pm – 3.30pm
Significant delays outside of these times may be experienced. 

The 4.3 tonne load limit remains in place for local residents. The road condition remains poor with areas of instability and localised rock falls occurring regularly. Residents are asked to drive to the conditions, comply with the directions of traffic controllers, and exercise extreme caution when using the road. All other traffic access remains closed.

See the most recent Kempsey Road update newsletter. (PDF 2.1MB)

 

Recent works on Kempsey Road

Kempsey Road is an important corridor, linking Armidale and the coast and supporting agriculture and tourism in both the Armidale and Kempsey regions.

In mid-2019, Armidale Regional Council secured $4.67 million in funding from the NSW Government Fixing Country Roads program to carry out significant upgrades to Kempsey Road.

Then natural disasters in late 2019 and early 2020 badly damaged Kempsey Road between Waterfall Way and Kempsey, causing its temporary closure to all public traffic.

Council commenced emergency works immediately and reopened the section of road between Waterfall Way and Lower Creek in April 2020. The remainder of Kempsey Road reopened to traffic in May 2020.

Until Kempsey Road is restored to pre-disaster conditions, Council is unable to continue to carry out the significant upgrades.

Armidale Regional Council is committed to working closely with the community and provide regular informed updates as the work progresses.

Council thanks motorists and the community for their patience while this important work is carried out.