Following the recent floods repairing infrastructure such as roads is becoming a multi-part approach with short-term temporary fixes being facilitated for access and then longer-term responses allowing for the potential to look at future flood resilient solutions.
Tweed Shire Council (TSC) will start investigations into a long-term solution for Blacks Drain at South Murwillumbah to ensure its resilience in the face of future flooding events. Following the completion of temporary repairs to restore two-lane access to the notorious drain crossing on Tweed Valley Way due by the end of this week, weather permitting Council will begin to look at long-term solutions to repair the road.
‘The drain washed away in March 2017 and again in February 2022 following the two most significant flooding events in the Tweed’s recorded history. Previously, it also washed away in the flood of February 1954,’ said a spokesperson for TSC.
Council’s Director Engineering David Oxenham said the structure was more complex than it appeared and required specialist engineering design.
‘This particular section of Tweed Valley Way is both a roadway and a hydraulic structure. It also provides a crossing for water, sewer, power and telecommunications,’ Mr Oxenham said.
They are looking to focus on finding a more long-term solution to the problem to build flood resilience against the road being washed out again in future.
‘Similar to other roads in the Tweed that sustained significant damage during the flood, the crossing will require various investigations, consultations with local stakeholders, environmental assessment and approvals, engineering design and planning approvals. A specialist contractor will then be engaged to carry out the works.
‘Given the site’s complexity and other pressing priorities across the Tweed, the permanent works may take up to two years to complete,’ Mr Oxenham said.