Community wants action at Stony Creek Rd over floodwaters
SHANES Park residents are demanding a bridge over the causeway at Stony Creek Rd or, at the very least, to raise the flood-prone crossing.
Twice in two weekends during June, flooding closed the causeway on Stony Creek Rd isolating Shanes Park and Berkshire Park communities.
Residents, several Penrith councillors and the council itself believe the causeway, which crosses South Creek, has been flooding more in recent years.
Now residents and councillors are calling for action.
They believe the amount of development along both banks of South Creek means flooding will be more regular, faster and higher.
Berkshire Park’s Mario Pace said Stony Creek Rd was an important link.
“There’s about 6000 cars that use the causeway every day,” he said.
“Anyone who goes to Mt Druitt TAFE or works in St Marys, Penrith or heading to the M4 … go that way.”
He said development was leaving less land for standing water down South Creek, so the causeway flooded faster and heavily, instead of slowly building up.
He supports a bridge – not up to one-in-100-year flood levels, but enough so that it wouldn’t close and isolate residents in downpours.
He said his wife was driving across the causeway one afternoon and saw a wave running down the creek at her, about half a metre high.
“That’s enough to wash a car off the causeway,” Mr Pace said. “She came home shaking like a leaf.
“The causeway was OK back in the 1940s when it was built to get cattle across. But by today’s standards this isn’t acceptable.”
Penrith Councillor Kevin Crameri thinks the 1m-high causeway could be raised a bit and could possibly halve the number of closures.
“If you take that to 2m it would drastically improve things,” he said. “It’d need to be an actual flood to run over it then, not just rain.”
Cr Crameri said he worries about the impact of developments such as the southwest business park.
Penrith Cr Maurice Girotto said “every time someone flushes the toilet the causeway floods”, but agreed with Mr Pace a bridge didn’t need to stop all floods.
“We know the big floods will occur, we want to avoid the small ones,” he said.
A Penrith Council spokesman said the causeway was closed on average twice a year but more often of late.
“Replacing the causeway with a bridge 5m higher would cost about $10 million, which would mean that the causeway would still be closed on average once every two years,” he said.
He also said a “high-level northern alternative” via Marsden Park would be delivered in the near future.
Unhappy Shanes Park and Berkshire Park residents Rose Grima, Cr Kevin Crameri, Lorraine Sant, Mario Pace, Morris Girotto, Frank Agius, Tom Paldacchino and Sam Cauchi at the causeway and (right) the flooded roadway.