Contractors began work this week to remove disused fuel tanks beneath the Guyra main street, to allow an upgrade of the town’s central business district to proceed.
Fuel tank management specialist The Ground Doctor began site preparations in Bradley Street on Monday and started removing the tanks today.
“The contractors are expected to take about a month to remove the tanks but the full extent and duration of the project will not be entirely known until excavations occur,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“Council decided not to start the tanks’ removal until after Christmas and New Year, and last month’s Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival to avoid impacting on local businesses during those busy periods.”
Ground penetrating radars late last year revealed there could be as many as 19 disused fuel tanks located below Bradley Street and the footpath. They were not identified in existing records of the main street and were revealed last July during preliminary excavations for the $2.7 million main street upgrade.
“Once the contractors see the full conditions of the tanks, decisions will be made about which tanks will be removed and which will be stabilised and left in place,” he said.
“It’s envisaged the contractors’ work could take up to six weeks if the condition of the tanks brings unexpected delays.”
The tanks are located in four clusters and work will be undertaken in sections to minimise the impact on businesses and shoppers. It will begin on the western side of Bradley Street, starting at the southern end of the worksite and progressing through to the north.
Traffic controllers will be in place to limit the impact on road users and the excavations methods will enable Council crews to keep the western footpath open to pedestrians.
The location of the fuel tanks will require the eastern footpath to be closed in sections when work switches to the other side of the road at the end of February or early March. However, access to stores and other premises will be maintained throughout the project.
Council is liaising with business operators along the affected section of Bradley Street and will issue updates to advise of the project’s progress.
“Council will take a number of steps to minimise the impact on the community, while doing all the necessary site remediation to meet NSW Environmental Protection Authority requirements,” Cr Murray said.
“We can then proceed with the CBD upgrade, which will complement the historic architecture of the street, create unity in the street landscape and provide a safer environment for pedestrians.”
Published on 19 Feb 2019