A major arterial road has been closed after engineers deemed it was at risk of “collapsing into the gorge below” after heavy flood damage.
A major arterial road in the Blue Mountains has been closed for the “foreseeable future” after a landslide caused by heavy rainfall destabilised the area.
Engineers have deemed Bells Line of Road in the Blue Mountains at risk of “collapsing into the gorge below” after being drenched with more than 103mm of rain on Sunday and 57mm on Monday.
The area of road between the town of Bell and Mount Tomah was significantly damaged on Monday after heavy rainfalls triggered a landslide at Mount Tomah, which downed several trees.
“Bells Line of Road is now closed for the foreseeable future,” the Bowen Mountain Association said on Monday.
“Engineers have determined that the latest landslide (just after lunch) has damaged the road to such an extent that there is a high risk of the whole mountainside and roadway collapsing into the gorge below.
“The excessive rain has eroded the structural integrity underneath the road, causing parts of the road to fall into the valley. Many motorists are stuck with no way of getting home.”
The 59km stretch of road is used as an alternative to the Great Western Highway.
Updates from Live Traffic NSW on Monday said Bells Line of Road had been closed between the Darling Causeway and Rainbow Ravine Dr.
“Avoid the area. You can use the Great Western Highway as an alternative route,” the update said.
A local asking when the road would be reopened was told, “Hi there, there is no forecast as to when Bells Line of Road will reopen as the landslide has brought down several large trees.”
A video from a driver travelling on Bells Line of Road on Monday showed the area had been hit by significant flooding, with brown water flowing across the roadway, and waterfalls flowing down rock walls next to the road.
The Great Western Highway has also been impacted by heavy rainfall and flooding, so drivers have been urged to allow extra time while travelling.