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Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is giving top priority to repairing roads that were badly damaged in three State-declared disaster events, (including up to seven floods in many areas of the Region) during the past 10 months, while also detailing funding submissions seeking State and Commonwealth government assistance for infrastructure reconstruction projects.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was working as fast as practicable to repair roads to a safe and trafficable standard across the Region.
“It is a massive undertaking by our dedicated teams to undertake emergency road repairs, particularly in the wake of successive flood events that occurred in November 2021, then late February-early and late March, in early April and then again in May,” Mayor Antonio said.
“It’s great to see most people in the community are appreciative of the works undertaken to date and understand the enormity of the tasks our teams are undertaking and have ahead of them.
“This has been an extraordinary time for prolonged rain events, with above average rainfall, and extensive flooding, which has damaged urban and rural roads across much of our huge 6,600km road network.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates the repair bill from this year’s flood events may be more than $100 million.
“Our disaster management planning is taking notice of regular updates from emergency service agencies, as well as the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecasts for above average rain for most parts of Australia’s east coast this coming spring and summer.”
TRC Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor said Council had dedicated crews working on the emergency repairs across the Region.
“Our Council crews have done an amazing job to complete more than 7600 temporary, emergency repairs since late 2021 by working long hours and some weekends,” Cr Taylor said.
“Please be mindful that the work to date is of a temporary nature only and we will be back as part of the major reconstruction program, which is commencing now.
“We are moving to the next phase of undertaking permanent reconstruction works, which is another magnitude altogether.
“Our flood recovery team is working closely with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) to ensure funding for the initiated $6 million of priority flood reconstruction works can be reimbursed at a later date.
“We anticipate the full works program will take at least two years to repair. We ask for residents’ patience as we methodically work to repair the damage across our large road network, which includes more than 3550km of sealed roads and more than 3250km of gravel roads.
“Our teams live in our communities and take immense pride in the work they perform. They have worked tirelessly since the start of these ongoing weather events and will continue to do so over the coming two years as the flood recovery program ramps up.
“In addition to the most recent rain events, Council has been completing long-term repairs valued at more than $30 million following the declared February 2020 flood event. The successive weather events have delayed those repairs and added extra work to these sites.
“In March this year, Council submitted an initial list of projects for which we are seeking Betterment funding from the Commonwealth and State governments. The Betterment program specifically allows roads and other infrastructure to be built to a more flood resilient standard.
“There is no denying that many parts of Council’s road network, like parts of the state and national networks, are in a poor state following the multiple floods.
“Motorists are advised to use extreme caution at all times. Please observe any warning signs and drive to the conditions.”
Caption: (Top) The Maria Creek Road crossing was completely washed away. Council crews constructed a side-track within days to allow access. Below, work at O’Mara Road.