Soil issue causes sports ground delay

Works on the first stage of the Lavington Sports Ground redevelopment have been delayed after a large quantity of soil base material on the site, which was to be used on the new sports field, was found to be unsuitable.

It was not until excavation commenced that a significant quantity of unsuitable material was identified on the site, despite council undertaking all due diligence and testing before work started.

AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said council was now conducting a detailed investigation.

“Professional experts were engaged to conduct geotechnical tests and other investigations to establish whether the soil was appropriate to be used as the base for the new sports field,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the results of those tests have been found to be inaccurate.

“Had the initial tests revealed an issue with the soil, a different design process would have been undertaken.”

He said Council could not provide further comment on the testing process until the investigation is completed.

The situation will result in a delay in construction of about three months and an increase in the overall project cost in the order of $1.5M to $2M.

However, the financial shortfall can be offset by savings from a number of other major projects coming in under budget.
The issue was discussed last night by councillors at a workshop which was open to the public.

“Although this is a disappointing development, I’m pleased to say it will not result in any increase in costs to ratepayers and nor will any other services or programs be affected. The additional costs will be offset by savings achieved thanks to effective planning, procurement and construction of other projects,” Cr Mack said.

“Work continues on the sports ground redevelopment and stage one is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2018 with turf to be on the ground by Easter.”

Meanwhile, the tender for the construction of the new amenities pavilion at the site will be considered by Council at its December meeting.