Highway plaque disappears

The bare plinth today

A PLAQUE commemorating the near-completion of improvements to the Lyell Highway disappeared at the weekend. Unveiled by Infrastructure Minister David O’Bryne last Tuesday, the plaque appeared to have been made of plastic and was attached to its concrete plinth with double-sided tape.

At the unveiling ceremony, Mr O’Byrne said the $14 million project had been an example of the State Government delivering infrastructure that improved links between communities. “This upgrade has improved safety, achieved a more consistent road standard and reduced future maintenance costs,” Mr O’Byrne said. “Only a few finishing touches and a final seal remain to be done,” he said.

“Along with the recent restoration of the Bridgewater Bridge liftspan to full operation, access by both road and river to New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley has been greatly enhanced. These improvements will help to bring communities together, whilst providing easier access to educational, employment and recreational opportunities.”

“Completion of the Lyell Hwy project has not been an easy task as it posed significant design and engineering challenges. The topography in some sections provides limited scope to widen the road alignment with high, steep terrain on the southern side of the highway and the Derwent River with deep river silts on the northern side.”

Mr O’Byrne said completion of the project fulfilled a 2006 pre-election commitment, but councillors speaking at this month’s Derwent Valley Council meeting were not so enthusiastic about the result. Cr Judy Bromfield asked whether the community had to be satisfied with the “second-rate road surface” and poor line markings. Cr Damian Bester suggested that that council should ask when the next stage would start, including overtaking and bicycle lanes.

The now-missing plaque

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