Not such a slippery slope

2008-08-19 00:00

Julia Denny-Dimitriou’s article “N3: Why all the repairs?” on August 12 provides a lengthy but inaccurate explanation of the damage done to the southbound carriageway of the N3 on Town Hill when a few localised slip-circle failures occurred after the latest heavy rains. The article heading refers to “geological forces” which “caused the road surface to lift”, which is an exaggerated and misleading representation of the facts. There are so many horror stories doing the rounds about this area, and about Victoria Country Club Estate, that her article, if left unchallenged, will only serve to fuel further misinformation.

The two sections of the freeway which have been problematic are well known. The one is the area of the now famous “Rickivy Slip” where the freeway crosses a deep valley. Here the large, engineered fill prisms of the two carriageways were originally placed across an obvious and ancient drainage valley, causing instability and settlement. The need to make adequate provision for the traversing of this valley should have been obvious to the original freeway designers and contractors, but in any event the recent construction of the new bridge spanning the valley appears to have solved the problem.

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