WHAT we've suspected all along became more than just a suspicion this week when Lithgow Council admitted it has no idea when , or indeed if, the Browns Gap is likely to again provide a valued road link to the Hartley Valley.
It's been so long that the origins of the problem are for many lost in the mists of time and in fading memories of cruising that example of challenging mountainside road building - dating back to our pioneers.
So the back story is this; in the Summer and Autumn of 1921/22 we were treated to some of the most consistent heavy rain that anyone could remember.
It was literally the Big Wet that just went on day after day, week after week.
And while it broke the long drought it caused dampness problems for property owners and ever increasing instability in some of our roads.
Cue landslips, landslides and never ending potholes.
Browns Gap reacted badly to its soaking and sought to re-shape its topography, a situation not helped by a collapse in an adjacent old mine ventilation shaft.
And that's where the barricades went up - and stayed up. The road was considered too risky to take chances.
Each time repair works have been completed a new problem arises and that's still how it is.
This week the Council issued a statement finally admitting 'we just don't know, and that's the truth'' and that fresh discoveries mean they can't predict an end game and apologising for lack of communication that will 'now be rectified on a regular basis'.
Just like the long suffering victims of the Wolgan Gap collapse at the other end of town it's in the hands of the consultants.
But at least with the Hartley Valley there are easy alternatives. They just take a little longer.
The two Royals
THE Royal Hotel at South Bowenfels, the once much loved Donnybrook, is set to reopen after finding a buyer after being passed in at auction months ago. Reports are the new look 19th century landmark will include a motel facility. The pub oddly enough remained closed after being sold for what insiders described as silly money a couple of years back. But while one Royal establishment has new life another Royal departs. The Royal at Wang closed it bars last week, now with only an accommodation role. According to social media that Royal is owned by the same firm that owns the Seven Valleys in Lithgow that also closed suddenly a couple of weeks back.
THE most regular offenders when it comes to illegal posters on public structures around Lithgow, apart from garage sales, is some lot promoting 'pro wrestling' in Katoomba. Problem is they never take them down after the event, leaving them to the ravages of the elements. Could be a job for Council rangers to do some removals ASAP and a 'don't do it again' note to the promoters.
SO we're getting another discount store, this time in the premises vacated by Mad Barrys at Pottery Plaza. This time Silly Sollys who claim nothing over five bucks. That makes four such outlets, one more than our supermarkets.
THIS week's favourite quote from the warzone (the Middle Eastern one). 'We don't target civilians. They're collateral damage that's llowed in the rules of war'. Netanatyu again defending claims of war crimes. Pleased he cleared that up.