The NSW Government is delivering the Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities - Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy. As part of the Flood Strategy, Roads and Maritime Services are investigating road upgrades on key evacuation routes, across the 425 square kilometre Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley to enhance access to and performance of the existing flood evacuation routes.
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has the highest single flood exposure in NSW, if not Australia. Due to the unique landscape of this region, floods in the valley pose a significant potential risk to people’s lives, livelihoods and property.
The Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities - Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Strategy (the Flood Strategy) was released in May 2017. The Flood Strategy’s objective is to reduce flood risk to life, property, and social amenity from regional floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley now and in the future.
Roads and Maritime Services has an important role in leading a number of road and transport outcomes in the Flood Strategy, and is lending our knowledge and skills to other outcomes. Due to the potential depth, extent and duration of floods in the valley, mass evacuation when flooding is predicted is critical to reduce the risk to life. Roads and Maritime Services is working with the NSW State Emergency Service and other agencies to improve evacuation measures to help reduce risks from flooding across the valley.
The Flood Strategy actions being led by Roads and Maritime Services are:
- developing a regional evacuation model that identifies the flood evacuation capacity requirements for different areas in the valley
- developing a Regional Evacuation Road Master Plan that identifies the flood evacuation road network required for the valley
- design and rollout of flood evacuation road signage system across the valley, the first time there has been a strategic regional approach to flood evacuation signage in NSW
- targeted flood evacuation road upgrades to enhance access to and resilience of the existing flood evacuation routes, subject to approval of business cases.
Roads and Maritime is currently doing survey work and field investigations to inform planning and development of potential road upgrades as part of the Flood Strategy.
Flood evacuation road upgrades are an essential to help residents safely evacuate from flood prone areas. These projects will reduce potential congestion or cutting of flood evacuation routes by improving local drainage, raising low points, removing constrictions and widening critical road sections. Around 40 projects have been short-listed for environmental and technical investigations and implementation subject to business case approval.