Main City Levee officially opened
Published: 21 Sep 2020 2:35pm
Wagga Wagga’s new Main City Levee Bank was officially opened today marking a significant upgrade to one of the city’s most important pieces of infrastructure.
Works on the $23M project were completed in early March 2020 with the levee now capable of protecting the city against a 1 in 100 year flood event.
The opening was performed by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM, Federal Member for Riverina, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Wagga Wagga MLC Wes Fang.
The project was the result of all levels of government combining to fund the infrastructure, with the Federal Government ($10M) and the State Government ($4.1M) contributing more than $14M.
Council has contributed $7.75M through the collection of funding in a Special Rate Variation which is being held in reserve for further works at North Wagga Wagga.
Cr Conkey said the project, one of the largest undertaken by Council in recent times, was finished four weeks ahead of schedule and more than $200K under budget. It took 2.5 years to complete after the first works started on Stage 1 in October 2017.
“The significance of such an important piece of infrastructure to the city cannot be understated,” Cr Conkey said.
“The level of flood protection it now provides safeguards the CBD against a rare major flooding event.
“The next stage is to provide adequate protection for the North Wagga Wagga community.”
Cr Conkey said the planning around the levee bank project also incorporated other facets of city-life which allowed the residents to utilise in every day activities, such as cycling and walking.
“Incorporating the Active Travel Plan routes into pathways along the levee bank is an outstanding result for the residents,” Cr Conkey said.
“It’s maximising the benefits we can take away from this major project. Critical infrastructure being used for other purposes, where possible and feasible, is smart thinking … and on this occasion it’s a great result for residents and visitors.”
Cr Conkey also thanked the Federal Government and State Government for their contribution to the project.
MICHAEL McCORMACK MP
Mr McCormack said the official opening of the Main City Levee marked a milestone achievement for the community which will now benefit from a vital piece of upgraded infrastructure.
“The upgrade of the levee provides that extra level of protection to the CBD during those times of flooding,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Wagga Wagga community has been calling for improved flood protection for many years, particularly after the 2012 floods. I have worked with the local community and industry leaders over many years and am delighted to have delivered $10M in Federal
funding towards the levee bank project.”
WES FANG MLC
Mr Fang has welcomed the opening of the upgraded levee system as a milestone event for Wagga Wagga.
“This crucial infrastructure, funded in part by the NSW Government, will help safeguard our city and our residents from a 1 in 100 year flood event,” he said.
“By strengthening the levee, it will help protect our Central Business District and thousands of homes in the event of extreme flooding.”
Stage 1 of the Main City Levee project started in October 2017 with works downstream of the Gobbagombalin Bridge, west of the city.
The second stage was underway in 2019 and included six kilometres of levee bank, of which almost two kilometres required sheetpiling work.
The upgraded levee consists of concrete walls, sheetpiling, earthworks, crib walls and incorporates two spillways for extreme flooding events.
Access to the levee has been significantly improved with disability compliant and smoother ramps at seven locations between Hammond Avenue and Travers Street.
Hand railings along sections of the shared pathway have also improved access and safety. First Nations Peoples artwork has been placed onto the sheetpile capping to highlight the strong link between the Wiradjuri people and the Murrumbidgee River.