Construction starts on new culvert system for Dairy Flat

CONSTRUCTION has started on a new culvert system at Dairy Flat to improve road access between Coraki and Woodburn, particularly for Bungawalbin, Coraki and Woodburn residents.

The $4.2 million project was funded by the Australian Government through the Emergency Response Fund under the Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program (NRRRP) 2022-2023. Funding for this program is administered by the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

The NRRRP is a $150 million program supporting the Northern Rivers region to drive long-term resilience by delivering 36 priority projects across seven local government areas impacted by the 2022 floods.

Projects such as the Dairy Flat improvements aim to mitigate the impact of disasters and create a better position to recover from future disasters.

Minister for Emergency Management Senator Murray Watt announced the project in July last year. Preliminary design and planning have given way to the heavy construction phase of the project, which is being delivered on schedule.

Soft soils under the road at Dairy Flat have resulted in subsidence, which created a dip in the road, making this section of main road to be the last to reopen post floods.

Historic attempts to stabilise this short section of road have failed to prevent subsidence. It is proposed to bridge the soft soils with a series of culverts to improve road access between Coraki and Woodburn during and after floods.

The scope of the project is to:

  • Install 21 box culverts and 14 link slab lids, as well as a new base slab structure, wingwalls and headwalls, batters and guardrail.
  • Install scour protection to the inlet and outlet sections
  • Undertake embankment stabilisation to protect against failure of the road and further cracking.
  • Reinstatement of road surface

A contract to undertake the project was recently awarded and construction is underway. As a result, traffic control is in place and drivers are urged to use caution while travelling in this area and be mindful of active work zones.

General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the Dairy Flat project was one of many roads’ restoration programs coming online, thanks to the releasing of vital Government funding.

Mr Macdonald said Council’s roads program would address critical maintenance needs, improve road conditions, and ensure the continued safety and efficiency of the local transportation network.

He said Council’s 2023 Rebuilding the Richmond Valley Recovery Plan set out a vision to help restore the Richmond Valley over a three-period following the devastating 2022 flood events, in partnership with the community, disaster support agencies and State and Federal governments.

The estimated repair bill for flood-damaged roads throughout the Richmond Valley stands at more than $100 million, not including the cost of repairing major landslips in North Casino.

“Our local road network was severely damaged by the 2022 flooding events and ongoing wet weather, and it will take some time to repair all the damage, but we have kicked a few goals already,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Bitumen reseals, gravel re-sheeting, hot mixing and restoration of road and drainage infrastructure have taken place right across the Valley on key roads such as Broadwater-Evans Head Road, Casino-Coraki Road, Woodburn-Coraki Road, Woodburn-Evans Head Road and Spring Grove Road.”

Other roads which have works complete include Rappville Road, Sextonville Road, Benns Road, McDonalds Bridge Road, Tuckombil Road, Coraki Ellangowan Road, Court Street Woodburn, Knoetzeches Road and Crawfords Road.

Mr Macdonald said by prioritising the rehabilitation and maintenance of local roads, Council was not only enhancing connectivity but also promoting economic growth, job creation, and overall community well-being.

“It’s a long road ahead but Council is committed to restoring our local transportation network to meet community expectations,” he said.

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