As large sections of the state continue to clean up from the recent wild weather, the NSW Government has announced a Regional Road Flood Recovery Taskforce to help fast track efforts to restore the road network.
Deputy Premier and the Minister responsible for disaster recovery John Barilaro said with water levels starting to recede, the NSW Government is pivoting its focus from response to recovery.
“The 2019/20 bushfires and the clean-up and recovery efforts that followed taught us a great deal, and having worked on bushfire recovery for the past 15 months I am taking that experience and those lessons with me to steer recovery following these extreme floods,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Emergency services and road crews have worked tirelessly to restore access to these communities as soon as possible – and now we want to focus on restoring those roads to full capacity.
“Transport for NSW has set up a Regional Road Flood Recovery Taskforce to assess damage, report ongoing road closures to locals, assist the freight industry and other road users, and support councils with applications for disaster recovery funding.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the floods had left a trail of wreckage across the state’s road network.
“We know how important it is to restore these road networks as quickly as possible to ensure supplies are getting in and communities are able to start getting back on their feet,” Mr Toole said.
“However, due to the large number of slips and inaccessibility of some areas, it is likely that closures of some roads will be in place for several weeks.
“Anyone hitting the road this Easter should check ahead on Live Traffic to see if their preferred route is impacted by closures or likely to be busier than normal due to other roads being closed.
“It’s a huge job and Transport for NSW is prioritising assessments of the damage to the road network and will continue to carry out emergency repair work as it is safe to do so.”
Mr Toole said some of the damage, particularly along Bells Line of Road and slope failures along Jenolan Caves Road, which received close to 250 millimetres of rain, would require more extensive and time-consuming repairs.
“Smaller slope failures can be cleaned up quickly. However, larger ones – such as where the majority of the road has washed away on Jenolan Caves Road at Five-Mile – will take extensive investigation, design and complex work to repair.”
In the north, Waterfall Way has more than a dozen landslips after more than 500 millimetres of rain in that area. Crews are on site starting the high risk clean-up ensuring safety first.
For more information, visit Transport for NSW’s Holiday journeys.