BRIDGE NEEDED

Com­mu­nity wants ac­tion at Stony Creek Rd over flood­wa­ters

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

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.

Main pic­ture: Phil Rogers

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.

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