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Take it to the next level? Not for the next 20 years, at least

TROUBLED WATERS: Can the substantial cost of raising the Gordon Edgell Bridge really be justified when the river rises over it so infrequently?COUNCILLOR Michael Coote must have the election cycle confused.He must think there is an election coming up -well, maybe a mayoral election on the assumption that no decision on Bathurst’s merger with Oberonis handed down by the Land andEnvironment Court in the next four weeks.
Nanjing Night Net

How else can you explainhim spruiking the need to raise the Gordon Edgell Bridge or build dual lanes to Kelso and Eglinton just because the city incurred two days of inconvenience due to the flooding of the Gordon Edgell Bridge (or the George StreetFalls Bridge before it was renamed in 2006)?

Simply, the city won’t need dual lanes via Eglinton Road or Hereford Street for at least 20 years,so forget that brain snap, Cr Coote.And the suggestion to raise the Gordon Edgell Bridge so it is “no longer a low level bridge” is simply uneconomical.

I think Cr Coote has forgotten that the Raglan Creek in full flood cuts Hereford Street between Ashwood Park and the levy onGilmour Street end.So not only would the Gordon Edgell Bridge need to be raised 10 metres above its existing level -costing millions, if not tens of millions -but the full length of Hereford Street across the floodplain would also need to be raised 1.5 to twometres, I assume, with viaducts to ensure the road access was maintained during floodevents – which, honestly, occurinfrequently.

The chances ofgetting approval for this project from the water authorities are “none and Buckley’s”.

So what’s the alternative?Maybe the long-overdueEleven Mile Drivereconstruction could be expedited, raising the height of the culvert crossing at Saltram Creek, if needed, to ensure access from Kelso is maintained at all times when the Gordon Edgell Bridge is flooded. I’d suggest that’s asignificantly cheaper alternative.

Or, to play the devil’s advocate, maybe Kelso residents could pay a toll along Hereford Street to fund Cr Coote’s fanciful, headline-grabbing thought bubble.

Deviation design worksSTILL on water, I was surprised that the $1 millionRaglan Creek deviation, which was created a few years agoto channel large volumes of water away from the normal watercourse of the Raglan Creek during major storm events across the Great Western Highway at Learmonth Park, sprang into action last Wednesday after 30 to40 millimetres of rain.

I appreciate last week’s rainwas the “icing on the cake” on top of the saturated ground, with every millimetre running, but the best news is it appears our engineers got the design right, with no sign of flooding on the Great Western Highway.

Considering the bedlam created when the highway to Kelso closed after storm flooding at the Raglan Creek, the high investment to create the deviation channel appears to have paid for itself on its first use.Hats off to council’s engineering department.

Thumbs upRAGLAN Creek deviation channel working how it was intended last week, preventing the Sydney Road at Learmonth Park flooding.

Thumbs downCR Coote calling for the Gordon Edgell Bridge level to be raised just because Kelso residents were inconvenienced twice in a fortnight due to flooding.That’s twice in a few years – hardly a major inconvenience with an available alternative via Eglinton.

– LACHLAN SULLIVANThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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