Council commits $20 million to reduce flooding

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Tyrrell Street Bridge in Wallsend prior to its completion.

After a severe history of flash floods, City of Newcastle has committed more than $20 million to replace two bridges in Wallsend and reduce flooding in the town centre.

The decision to dedicate an extra $20.7 million to reconstructing Boscawen Street and Nelson Street bridges, as well as associated works to improve water flows during major rain events, was unanimously supported by the council last week.

It follows the completion of the $3.3 million reconstruction of Tyrrell Street Bridge in April.

“I’m delighted that all councillors have agreed to invest more than $20 million in the bridge and infrastructure upgrades at Wallsend, to further help mitigate continued flooding in the town centre,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Expansion of the stormwater channel, together with our replacement and raising of the Nelson and Boscawen Street bridges and upgrading the culvert beneath Cowper Street Bridge, will significantly reduce flooding in the town centre and remove the ongoing impediment to growth created by the threat of it.”

The City of Newcastle plans on widening the stormwater channel that runs through Wallsend Town Centre.

Cr Nelmes says it has asked Hunter Water to make provisions in its 2020-24 capital works program to help protect people and property exposed to damage.

Widening the town centre stretch of the Ironbark Creek channel will cut down the severity of flooding during exceptional weather events like the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm.

“We are steadfastly committed to delivering the Ironbark Creek Flood Mitigation Plan in conjunction with significant amenity upgrades to the Wallsend town centre,” Cr Nelmes added.

“We continue to call on the NSW and Federal Governments to help with this large-scale infrastructure renewal program, which is critical to protect businesses in the Wallsend CBD.”

A detailed design of the two bridges will commence in the 2020/21 financial year. 

– Tia Thomas

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