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.
Works will include 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 due to a significant amount of rainfall experienced in early to mid-2021as well as Covid restrictions, it is now expected to be complete by late 2022.
A two-way sealed side-track is in operation 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 both sides
- 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 structure
- maintaining the existing clear zone and carrying out localised vegetation control including trimming or weed removal.
Crews will be back on site from January 2022 and work includes:
- Constructing a temporary drainage diversion channel along the Gwydir Highway
- Construction of concrete base slab
- Placing of the precast concrete culvert units
- Construction of concrete cover slab and retaining walls