The Esplanade at Mount Martha is on track to be reopened on Monday despite a further slip. An estimated 30 tonnes of soil and debris slid on to the road at 255 The Esplanade on Tuesday last week, leading to its closure in both directions. Heavy rain in the past 48 hours has caused another slip.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council officials said the latest slip was contained in a bund built by VicRoads and did not block The Esplanade. The slips exposed Telstra lines running under the service road and the telco assessed the site yesterday. No other services were affected but the service road also remains closed.
While there were no initial concerns for the stability of nearby houses, there are worries a further collapse could cut access and utility services. The council’s building surveyor deemed it necessary to evacuate one home on Wednesday afternoon.
A platform for a long-reach excavator was created yesterday to enable repair work to continue today. Council officials expect The Esplanade will need to remain closed until Monday afternoon to allow completion of the work and a site clean-up, but this will become clearer as work progresses. Daily inspections will continue to monitor potential soil movement.
The council and the Department of Transport are now working on a long-term rectification plan. The council’s safety and service quality manager, Graham Riley, said geotechnical assessments were under way to assess the cause of the slip and the potential risks to users of The Esplanade and the service road. “The same assessments will form the basis of plans for long-term rectification works, which are expected to take several months,” Mr Riley said. “The reports are expected within days and the results will determine if further interim works are required. It is anticipated there will be a speed reduction on reopening.”