Repairs on the Greens Road are finished and are now open to the Hawkesbury community after being damaged by the floods between 2021 and 2022.
Hawkesbury Councillors and Council officials attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Greens Roads at Lower Portland on 23 July 2023, Sunday, at 11:00 AM.
These include Sarah McMahon, Mayor of Hawkesbury, state member Robyn Preston MP and federal member Susan Templeman MP, and Councillors Jill Reardon, Paul Veigel, Shane Djuric, Nathan Zamprogno, Mary Lyons-Buckett, Les Sheater, and Danielle Wheeler.
Susan Templeman celebrated the reopening of the road saying: “This ended up being a $17 million project, which was 75% Federal funding and 25% State funding. So nearly $13 million dollar Commonwealth contribution to give people a secure access to their homes.”
Mrs. Templeman commented on the importance of the road being built to be more more flood resilient in future, and celebrating the efforts of locals in its reopening. “The community fought hard for this result – they shouldn’t have had to fight so hard,” she said, “and hopefully the lessons learned in this will help others in the future.”
Mayor McMahon said in a Facebook post, “It has been a very challenging 2 years as we worked to construct the road and retaining walls – on the side of a mountain and beside a river – 2 years with community heartbreak and despair, but today, it was all about relief and positivity that it was over and that the job was done so well.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Zamprogno said in a post that the repairs posed a challenging infrastructure project.
“The job of repairing the 715m of road in two sections was a huge engineering challenge, involving stabilising and piling the bank to depths of 8m, improving drainage and replacing the road surface.”
“The patience, resilience and advocacy of our river communities is something to be respected and celebrated.”
The Australian and NSW governments funded the road replacement as part of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. According to Mayor McMahon, the Greens Road project is valued at $15 million.
The road was restricted on May 2021, as the HCC and the previous Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councilor Patrick Conolly, pledged to come up with solutions to fix the damages.
Repairs in Hawkesbury since 2022 cost almost $35 million, the incumbent Mayor mentioned in a statement on July 2023.
According to the Hawkesbury City Council (HCC)’s Annual Report 2021 – 2022, the cost of damages to the Hawkesbury road networks on early July 2022 surpassed $190 million. The report prompted the establishment of the Infrastructure Recovery Team.
Other roads, such as the Settlers Road, Upper Colo Road, and Pitt Town Bottoms Road, were also damaged. The Lower Portland road is marked among the priority project in the Council’s Road Recovery Projects and was completed in June. The new $3.4 million Upper Colo Bridge was opened on 2 June 2023 as part of the recovery projects.
The Greens Road opening was held at 251 Greens Road, Lower Portland, NSW 2756.
Image credit to Sarah McMahon – Mayor of Hawkesbury.