Hydrological study for Devils Pulpit to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade released

8 MAY 2017

The Devils Pulpit to Ballina hydrological mitigation report is now available for the community to view.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the report sets out the flood management objectives for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade and how the team has and will continue to reduce the impacts of the project on flooding in the area.

“The project team has worked with the community and stakeholders using local knowledge to further reduce the predicted impact of flooding. This combined with innovative design solutions has resulted in a highway with improved flood immunity reducing road closures during flood events,” the spokesperson said.

“Results of flood studies showed there would be some minor changes to existing flood conditions in areas between Richmond River and Ballina.

“More than 150 scenarios were modelled to inform design refinements to minimise the impact of flooding. An important outcome of the design refinement process was to increase the number of bridges in this section of the upgrade to about 50 with many culverts changed to bridges to help improve environmental outcomes for the threatened Oxleyan Pygmy Perch native fish species which live in some local waterways.

“The increase in number of bridges also increases waterway openings to aid the flow of flood water away from urban centres and agricultural land.

“The hydrological mitigation report for Glenugie to Devils Pulpit was released last month.

“Specialist consultants WMAwater were engaged as independent hydrologists to review and verify the assessments and provide support to local landowners and agencies where requested. The appointment of WMAwater to this role was approved by the Department of Planning and Environment.

“The project team will hold staffed community drop in sessions for the Devils Pulpit to Ballina hydrological mitigation report at Woodburn Visitor Information Centre on Friday 12 May, Broadwater Community Hall on Thursday 25 May and Wardell and District Memorial Hall on Friday 26 May. All sessions will be held between 5pm and 7.30pm.

“The Woolgoolga to Ballina project team will continue to work with the community and stakeholders along the highway on localised areas that require further assessment and work to find reasonable and practicable solutions.

“The full report can be viewed on the Roads and Maritime Services website at rms.nsw.gov.au/w2b,” the spokesperson said.

The 155 kilometre upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina is Australia’s largest regional infrastructure project and the last highway link between Hexham and the Queensland border to be upgraded to four lanes.

The upgrade is expected to open to traffic by 2020, weather permitting.

At a glance

  • Increase in bridges from about 40 to more than 170 across the project
  • Refined embankments and increased flood openings have improved flood outcomes
  • Increased floodway openings in the Richmond River flood plain providing an additional 290 metres of waterway area since the Environmental Impact Statement
  • Increased local road levels to improve flood immunity for local intersections with the highway.

Media:  ROADS AND MARITIME SERVICES MEDIA UNIT 9462 6299 media@rms.nsw.gov.au facebook.com/NSWRoads

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