Additional $20 million committed to help further mitigate Wallsend flooding

31 May 2020

City of Newcastle has committed over $20 million to replace two more Wallsend bridges and called on the Federal and State governments to help further reduce flooding in the town centre.

In a Lord Mayoral Minute unanimously supported Tuesday, the City dedicated an additional $20.7 million to by reconstructing Boscawen Street and Nelson Street bridges, and associated works to improve water flows during major rain events.

This commitment follows the recent completion of the $3.3 million reconstruction of Tyrrell Street Bridge.

“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 further mitigate continued flooding in the town centre,” 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 has also written to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, asking that Hunter Water make provision in its 2020-24 capital works program to widen its stormwater channel running through Wallsend Town Centre, to help us protect people and property exposed to the dangers and damage of flooding.”

Widening the town-centre stretch of the Ironbark Creek channel, which drains Rankin Park, Elermore Vale and Wallsend, will mitigate flooding during severe weather events like the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm and 2015 and 2016 floods.

Further acquisitions of property will be needed to end the recurring problem, a legacy of the nineteenth-century establishment of the town centre on low ground near collieries.

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

The new Tyrrell Street Bridge was opened in April following the City’s $3.3 million replacement of a lower 1930-built structure with a raised two-span, concrete plank-road bridge.

The Ironbark Creek Flood Mitigation Plan proposes replacement of the Boscawen Street and Nelson Street bridges and increasing flows beneath Cowper Street Bridge.

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