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Floods Spell Bad News for Roads

Apr 10, 2024

The dire state of the roads in the Hawkesbury is expected to get worse after the recent floods with many now looking at several years before they are repaired.

Hawkesbury City Council told the Post that it has only completed $52 million worth of projects for  “sealed roads and landslip repairs” under state government funding of $135 million handed out two years ago. There is a further additional $41 million in funding that is under consideration. At present there are 59 projects with a value $74.3 million are currently in progress.

“In line with approvals sought under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, the funding for the majority of projects expires in March 2025. A further 12 month extension may be sought, once assessments of the damage of the current flood have been considered,” a HCC spokesperson said.

Much of the first tranche of money that has been spent was in major rural projects such as Green’s Road. And while HCC has been quick to take credit, the Post has learned that a number of large projects were outsourced to the Department of Public Works. While those projects have been underway there has been far less focus on urban roads, which has sparked the anger of residents.

But the money that was committed came before the latest floods. Due to the impact of the heavy rains –  as well as deteriorating due to lack of maintenance – HCC will have to survey, detail and apply for a fresh round of funding. In the meantime, residents will find – as they have already – that on some roads contractors repaired sections that were assessed two years ago,  with the rest simply left, people familiar with the HCC system said.

The HCC roads program has suffered serial delays, in some degree this has been due to the turnover of mid level managers running the roads program. At one stage the program was without a manager for four months. A person was later employed but was found to be unsuitable for the role,  resulting in another search, people familiar with the situation said. This had a significant impact on the roads program which now has a manager in place.

The state of the roads is arguably the number one complaint about the HCC by residents. Feelings run so high on social media that HCC has previously censored Facebook posts and Mayor Sarah McMahon has removed posts promoting HCC roadworks.

At last night’s HCC meeting, the draft plan for 2024-2025 was presented and will shortly be released on the internet for comment. As part of the plan HCC has committed to a $129 million Capital Works Program.

 

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