The NSW Government is providing $7.1 million to improve flood immunity on the Gwydir Highway at The Washpool, east of Moree.
The project will raise and rebuild a section of the Gwydir Highway at Washpool to ensure the road is better able to cope during and after flood events; a welcome improvement to local residents, tourists and freight operators who are often cut off after heavy rainfall.
Work includes replacing an existing three cell box culvert with a 20 cell culvert structure which will reduce the duration of road closures. The highway will also be raised and widened with the addition of 1.5m wide sealed shoulders as well as upgrading roadside drainage, improving safety for motorists and reducing ongoing maintenance costs.
Work started in October 2020 and the project has been impacted by a number of challenges including COVID restrictions, significant rainfall and flooding of the site and more recently, crews being diverted to carry out emergency repair work prioritised on the state road network.
The work is expected to be completed by mid 2023, weather permitting. This includes the culvert construction works to be delivered by Transport for NSW crews, and the associated road upgrades to be delivered by Moree Plains Shire Council on behalf of Transport.
A two-way sealed side-track continues to operate on the southern side of the highway to maintain traffic flow around the project site while construction works are being carried out.
Main construction work on the Gwydir Highway at the Washpool includes:
- replacing the existing culverts with a larger structure and raising the existing road level on
- providing a wider and more durable road formation above the new culverts
- improving drainage at the site by reshaping the table drains
- providing standard scour protection measures upstream and downstream of the new culvert
- maintaining the existing clear zone and carrying out localised vegetation control including trimming or weed removal.
- Construction of the base slab
- Placing of the precast concrete culvert units
- Construction of the concrete cover slab
- Construction of the retaining walls