City of Newcastle delivers flood improvements for University Drive

06 Oct 2023

A $5 million project to reduce the risk of flooding on a major Newcastle roadway has been completed by City of Newcastle.

The work will significantly decrease the likelihood of University Drive at Waratah West flooding due to heavy rain by improving the flow of water through Boatman Creek.

The low section of this busy road, which is a major thoroughfare to the Mater Hospital and University of Newcastle, was notorious for flooding during major wet weather events, causing road closures and damage to nearby properties. In 2020, ten people were rescued by the SES after a bus entered floodwaters at this location.

A 100-year-old brick arch culvert that was restricting the capacity of Boatman Creek and posing a blockage risk has now been replaced with a new sandstone channel. The upstream creek has also been rehabilitated to maximise flow capacity and channel durability.

A new cycleway pedestrian bridge located above the stormwater channel was also constructed as part of the project to maintain access for students and the community.

While the new upgrades won't entirely flood-proof the area, the project will mean less disruption to traffic on this important road by reducing flooding frequency.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is continuing to invest in projects across the city that deliver modern infrastructure to help mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.

"We are committed to delivering largescale stormwater infrastructure upgrades that ensure the safety of community and property now and into the future," Cr Nelmes said.

"By replacing the culvert, upgrading the channel in Boatman Creek, and moving water away from people and properties, this work will reduce the impacts of flooding on lives, homes and businesses."

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said that the upgrade will make a meaningful difference in the lives of those living and working in the area.

“The construction of a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the embankment has also ensured the project maintains access to the University for students and continues to be an important link in our city's wider cycleway network," Cr Clausen said.