THE latest extension of the Dual Use Path between Busselton and Dunsborough has run into a snag – literally.
A section that is about 100m long is holding up completion while a decision is made what to do with six mature palm trees along the proposed route.
The matter was raised at a special council meeting on Monday night.
The section has eight palm trees, of which six need be moved for the section of the DUP to be linked to either side of the Caves Road property.
Negotiations have been ongoing with the owner.
It was mentioned at council that for the city to remove them it would cost around $6000, however for the palm trees to be relocated would cost a minimum of $50,000 at the owner’s expense.
The owner had been given 21 days to make a decision.
However, there is another snag – fibre optic cables underneath the palms.
“The removal option is complicated by the fact that there are copper Telstra cables directly below these palm trees,” the city’s acting director of engineering and works services George Workman told the Mail.
“Cutting down the palms would not affect these cables as the trees are cut down and ground back to stumps. However, removing trees for relocation would certainly damage these copper cables as the fibrous root system would be wrapped around the cables.
“Telstra would bill the contractor engaged by the owner for any damage sustained. Fibre optic cables are also located about 2-2.5m from where the path will go and if any damage was sustained to these cables during the removal process, the cost of down-time would be in the region of $100,000 per hour in addition to any repair costs.
“Again this would be billed to the contractor. The contractor would also have to have Telstra onsite during the removal and a sucker truck to remove material from around the root system, all at their cost.”