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Full Hawkesbury flood recovery will take at least 12 months – 10% of our roads seriously damaged

Mar 23, 2022


It will take at least a year to repair road damage from the March flood, and that’s on top of repairs to flood-damaged roads still hanging over from last year’s flood.


The stark assessment is from Hawkesbury Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Will Barton, who says, initial assessments indicate that over 10% of the network has been subject either to flooding, landslides, scouring or other damage”.


The Hawkesbury has a very large road network compared to other councils in the Greater Sydney area, with over 1000km of tarmac and unsealed roads.


Mr Barton told the Post today, the Council had carried out what he called “a primary assessment” of its road network to “prioritise and action emergency works such as debris clearing, temporary resurfacing or temporary reconstruction”.


“Council is now undertaking a secondary and more in-depth assessment of damaged infrastructure and prioritising geotechnical investigations and repair works,” he said.


“This is happening concurrently while assisting residents with ongoing clean-up efforts, restoring access to community facilities, and other assets.


“Due to the immense scale of the damage, a timetable for all outstanding repairs is still being compiled, but a full recovery will take well over 12 months.”


Hawkesbury Council is responsible for gathering information and repairing infrastructure that it owns, such as local roads and parks.


State-owned infrastructure – so primarily major roads, which haven’t been too badly affected – is being managed by the NSW State Government.


Serious flood damage to Upper Colo Rd…


One of the areas badly hit this time around – at least in terms of road damage – was Upper Colo, and Mr Barton said, “as the flood event was unfolding, Council officers were in contact with a number of residents from Upper Colo who were able to provide valuable photo and video records prior to staff obtaining access. We are incredibly grateful for this valuable collaboration”.


Mr Barton added there are, “significant embankment and road slips as well as landslides which have impacted on the structural integrity of the road formation. Upper Colo Road is currently closed to the public but is open to residents to access their properties”.


It’s a similar story for the long-suffering folks living around Greens Rd at Lower Portland who still haven’t got a serviceable road since the 2021 floods.


Cornwallis, below Windsor, has been hit hard in this year’s floods with whole sections of Cornwallis Rd washed away, and that’s on top of unfinished repairs from last year’s floods.


“Council is working with all levels of government to obtain practical, expert and financial assistance in conducting the required clean-up and repair works,” says Mr Barton.


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