Tweed Shire Council has awarded a large package of flood remediation works in its first round of minor to medium-sized jobs to restore roads and bridges damaged in the 31 March flood.
The tender has gone to contractor Queensland-based contractors G & R Brown & Sons Pty Ltd.
A council spokesperson says that three more packages will be released to a preferred panel of six contracting companies for quoting and be awarded over the next three to four months.
It could then take between six and nine months for the contractors to complete works, weather and site conditions permitting.
Council has bundled the jobs in geographic areas ‘to minimise travel times between jobs and maximise on-the-ground efficiencies,’ the spokesperson said.
The first package centres on Carool, Crystal Creek and Upper Crystal Creek, Bilambil, Dulguigan, Dungay, Duroby and Upper Duroby, Glengarrie, Nobbys Creek, Tomewin, Tumbulgum and North Tumbulgum.
It involves work to rectify more than 100 damaged items and is worth about $1.5 million.
Meanwhile, more than 50 major reconstruction jobs are in various stages of investigation and design.
The council says it is ‘is engaging extra contractor resources to get these jobs shovel-ready. Still, these jobs, which account for the bulk of the repair bill at about $16 million, are not expected to start before the end of the year and will take more than two years to complete.’
Flood restoration coordinator Nigel Dobson said that while it has taken six months to get to this point, ‘with a preferred contractor panel in place and work bundled into packages, residents should see a lot more activity shortly and the speed of road and bridge repairs will ramp up’.
The council estimates the flood caused approximately $27 million of damage to roads and bridges, of which 900 minor road and bridge damaged items have been repaired at a cost of $5.2 million.
It expects to recover $18.3 million of its roads bill through Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance (NDRRA) and grant funding, leaving a possible shortfall of $8.7 million to be funded from the council’s future operating and capital budgets.
‘These figures may change as we firm up damage estimates, work to maximise funding opportunities and when NDRRA assessments are completed,’ Mr Dobson said.
‘The federal government’s Bridge Renewal Program has granted $2.17 million in funds (50 per cent) towards the replacement of Byrrill Creek Bridge and the council is negotiating with Roads and Maritime Services as to whether disaster relief funding can be used for some of the remaining budget shortfall to get that project happening.’
‘NDRRA has strict funding rules, including that costs are recoverable only where the council uses contractor resources. That is, the council cannot use its own workforce to repair flood damage,’ he said.