Work finishes on Sumner Rd fix for falling rocks

FINISHED: The new catch bench sits between Sumner Rd and the Crater Rim Bluffs and is designed to stop falling rocks landing on the road.

Work has been completed on the catch bench that has been built to reduce the risk of falling rocks bouncing onto Sumner Rd.

The completion of the bench excavation is a significant milestone it marks the end of stage one of the multimillion-dollar project to get Sumner Rd reopened to the public.

The new catch bench sits between Sumner Rd and the Crater Rim Bluffs and is literally designed to catch falling rocks before they land on the road.

“Contractors McConnell Dowell and their subcontractors have excavated about 100,000 cubic metres of rock from the slope above Sumner Rd to create the catch bench. It stretches for a length of about 400m and is 15m wide and 18m high,’’ said city council senior project manager Peter Bawden.

It has taken eight months to build the catch bench, which is one of a number of rock fall protection measures created along the route.

“If we get another earthquake, the intention is that rocks that come tumbling down from the bluffs will land in the catch bench rather than on the road,’’ Mr Bawden said.

Most of the rock excavated from the catch bench has been stockpiled at the Gollans Bay Quarry. Over the coming months some of it will be used in other city council projects.

The next stages involves repairing and reinforcing the retaining walls below Sumner Rd and rebuilding the road itself. As well as finishing drainage works and tidying up the Gollans Bay Quarry area.

Sub-contractors are starting to work on repairing a 100m long retaining wall below Sumner Rd, at its intersection with Reserve Tce.

The work involves drilling anchors into the bedrock behind the existing wall and installing new reinforced shotcrete concrete facing.

Procurement of the remaining retain walls packages and pavement repairs is under way and the target is to have Sumner Rd open in early to mid 2019.