THE Office of Local Government has confirmed it will undertake an investigation into Upper Hunter Shire Council's failed upgrade of a section of the Merriwa to Willow Tree Road.
The investigation will report on the adequacy of decisions made by the council to successfully complete the Coulsons Creek Road project within the expected timeframe, the causes of the failure and their financial impact on council among other matters.
A $12 million construction of the road in October 2019 did not meet safety specifications which required it to be redesigned and reconstructed.
This triggered a five-tonne load limit to be introduced and a 3.6-kilometre strip to be reduced to one lane.
Upper Hunter Shire mayor Maurice Collison said he hopes the process can comprehensively identify what went wrong and prevent it happening again.
"An external expert geotechnical review was also undertaken, which along with all other required information, will be provided to the office of OLG," he said.
Principal investigator Tony Day of the Office of Local Government will undertake the investigation with the assistance of Greg Wilkinson and Michael Papadopoulos of Transport for NSW.
Upper Hunter Shire Council said daily inspections of the road have revealed more deterioration in its surface and they can't rule out completely closing it for a period prior to remediation.
Tenders for the reconstruction of the road will be called in the first half of 2021 and a two-year construction period is anticipated to follow.