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Tasmania's first signal station has been restored more than 200 years since it began operation on Mount Nelson.
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The Nut safety fence ready just in time for Easter

02/04/2015

Parks and Wildlife Service staff from the Stanley Field Centre worked with contractors to install a rock catch safety fence and new section of handrail under an unstable rock face near the top of the Zig Zag access track at The Nut State Reserve during the past week. The work was completed just in time for the busy Easter holiday.


The steep worksite posed a few challenges for the contractors, OnRoad OffRoad Pty Ltd, but the careful planning paid off and the project was completed within the scheduled timeline.


The walking track was closed to the public for safety reasons as heavy machinery was used to dig footings for the uprights, anchor blocks and to transport materials to the steep and narrow construction site. 


Concrete was carried up the steep track using a tractor with a front end loader, footings were poured, the uprights placed and cables threaded with mesh secured to the inside to arrest the fall of any rocks from above.  A handrail was then welded on to the uprights to provide enhanced visitor safety.


Parks and Reserves Manager for the North-West Coast, Linda Overend said it’s a good outcome for the popular visitor site.


“This section of the track was often strewn with small rocks and debris which caused the track surface to be uneven and posed a slip/trip hazard for visitors.  The track had to be regularly checked and cleared to reduce these hazards, so the fence will reduce the workload of the Stanley Field Centre staff,” Linda said.


The weather conditions were trying at times with steady rain, the usual strong winds and even some hail experienced by the project team. A detailed communications plan was developed and this ensured that the visitors and tour operators were well informed about the track closure before they arrived at The Nut.


Linda said the project team was fortunate to have the assistance of Lake St Clair field officer, Bernard Holdsworth, for the week.   He was stationed at the base of the track and provided visitors with the option of the chairlift or the opportunity to view The Nut from several alternative vantage points. 


“The track closure was really well managed, it enabled the contractors to focus entirely on their work and there were no issues with visitors wandering through the construction site,” she said. 


“The new fence looks great and it is really pleasing that these safety works have been completed in time for Easter which is traditionally a very busy time at The Nut.


PWS would like to thank the tour operators, visitors and local walkers for their patience whilst the works were completed.

The Nut safety fence ready just in time for Easter

The unstable rock face above the track.

The Nut safety fence ready just in time for Easter

The narrow, steep track was a difficult work site for contractors.

The Nut safety fence ready just in time for Easter

Field officer Bernard Holdsworth did a great job on public relations, talking with visitors about alternative viewing areas around Stanley.

The Nut safety fence ready just in time for Easter

The completed fence and hand rail.