Gunnedah Shire Council has been making the most of the fine weather to progress repair work on the Shire’s flood damaged roads and continues to ask the community for their patience.
Gunnedah Shire, like many other councils throughout New South Wales, sustained millions of dollars worth of damage to its road network in the flood events of 2022.
Gunnedah Shire Council Director Infrastructure Services Jeremy Bartlett said Council had already undertaken more than $2.2 million in flood restoration works this financial year, and is continuing to progress the Flood Restoration Road Maintenance Program.
“Unfortunately, repeated flood events and roads are not a good mix. As well as the existing problems, damage sometimes continues under the surface of the roads for some time after the flood event, and it can take some time before the full extent of the damage is apparent and known," Mr Bartlett said.
“We are working with consulting engineers and contractors to accelerate the repair process. Where there is large-scale damage, designs for the work must be approved by Transport for New South Wales before they can be implemented, or the costs of the works may not be reimbursed to Council. The process for this can take some time.
“We know delays caused by closures, roadworks and damaged roads are frustrating, and we ask for your patience while we continue to work towards getting our road network back in good shape.”
The restoration road network spans 1615km and includes 145km of State Roads with significant works already undertaken at Orange Grove Bridge, Grain Valley Road causeway, Goolhi Road, and Clifton Road causeways.
Updates on specific road projects:
· Bulunbulun Road was closed for the safety of the travelling public recently due to damage at a causeway near the boundary with Liverpool Plains Shire. Significant creek flows undermined the concrete slab of this causeway and, with the heavy traffic that has been traversing this road, the slab has failed, and the causeway has sunk into the void.
Unfortunately, there is no simple or short-term repair that can be implemented to safely keep the road open.
Council’s works staff and a consulting engineer have inspected the site and are liaising with Transport for New South Wales to have the causeway reconstructed. This process will take time, and the road is likely to be closed for some months.
· Maitland Street Bridge, Breeza – Council is working with consulting engineers on a design for the approaches that will need to be approved by Transport for New South Wales. The bridge will remain closed for some months.
· Simson Bridge, Breeza - Due to significant scouring behind the abutment at the northern end, Council will restrict the bridge to one lane with a 40k/h speed limit. Further analysis is being undertaken by a consulting engineer regarding the operation of the bridge, and the repairs required.
· Hunts Road, Gunnedah – this work will proceed after Transport for New South Wales’ approval for the proposed repairs is received by Council.
Mr Bartlett said Gunnedah Shire Council also regularly released its schedule of planned works for the upcoming six week period for Flood Restoration and Unsealed Road Maintenance on social media and its website: www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au/index.php/community/community-alerts/road-works-closures
Flood damage at Maitland Street bridge, Breeza, in November 2022.