What happened to the trees?
By Barry Tucker 20 March, 2013
When I saw this massive tree pruning operation I thought the trees must be diseased.
Maybe as many as 17 attractive and shady trees have been removed or lopped for removal in the scene above.
It’s part of a public works project to install a huge roundabout in that area of Narooma known locally as “the flat”.
The rest of Narooma is known, by me, as “these damned hills”, especially when I’m walking up them.
The steep hill, the leafy trees alongside this section of the Princes Highway, combined with three merging or intersecting roads, created a road safety hazard and traffic delays (holiday season only).
Several trees were removed from the uphill area in front of the white truck. They obscured the view of drivers coming down the steep and sweeping S bend.
Uphill traffic faced a yellow 25 km/h recommended speed limit. I keep well to the left driving up, and use 3rd gear coming down, or 2nd if the road’s wet.
The S bend will be straightened out to lead more directly into the roundabout.
This view, from the cricket oval, shows the new Narooma Sporting and Services Club on the left and a bit of the ambulance station on the extreme right.
A shire council office will be constructed in the space between those two facilities.
At present, our library and the Visitor Centre sort of act like a shire office. The head office is in Moruya, 40 ks up the highway.
Up close, the lopping looks horrific. To the right of this traffic island is the Visitor Information Centre.
The island will go and there will be a new entrance to the information centre.
The large building half-way up the hill is the old services club, which I have heard is destined to be converted into aged care units.
During March, local residents were invited to participate in the design of street landscaping that will complete stage two of the project. Trees will be planted to replace those that have been removed.
The project is expected to cost $3.6 million and take one year to complete.
You can read the official version of what’s happening on the Eurobodalla Shire Council website.
Update, 13 August, 2013
A lot of work has been performed underground, moving services such as pipes and electric cables. A few days have been lost due to rain, but I believe the work is on schedule. The lawn grass has been replaced in front of the Visitor Centre and elsewhere (not visible in this shot).
The plan is to lower and straighten this section of the highway. The downhill section requires a gear change for safe navigation. A front end loader has lowered the dark section inside the safety barrier by almost two metres.
It looks like the Narooma Leisure Centre, the building in the above shot, is getting in the way of the final plan. I hope it’s not scheduled for removal. It’s one of our voting centres too.
The completed roads weave to the left and right as they approach and depart the roundabout. This looks odd and must be designed to slow traffic.
Another update when the road works and roundabout are completed. The final stage will be landscaping to replace the lost trees.
Visual update, 21 October, 2013
It looks like a parking area is being added for the Recreation Centre, the white patch opposite the brown brick building on the right. I’m hoping a lot of those electricity poles will be removed and the cables placed underground.