Foreshore Drive Closed as Mambo Culvert Washed Out In Severe Weather Event

The washed out Mambo Culvert on Foreshore Drive Salamander Bay. Photo: Marian Sampson

 

PORT Stephens has been battered by heavy rains and windy conditions leaving Council and many residents with a clean up bill.

Pot holes will be the least of Council’s worries with the damage bill for Foreshore Drive alone being extensive.

The wash out at Foreshore Drive in Salamander Bay has some thinking perhaps it is time to rethink this roadway.

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The road is a scar through valuable koala habitat and is an area known for koala sightings and vehicle strikes.

Foreshore Drive was recently resealed and traffic calming infrastructure was installed which saw the “short-cut” through the wetlands closed for many weeks.

The only piece of the road not repaired or made safe for pedestrians was the Mambo Culvert which is now completely washed out.

The culvert has long been blocking the natural flow of water from Salamander Bay into the wetland and has been a dangerous pinch point for pedestrians travelling along Foreshore Drive.

The water that has rushed through the washout culvert has carried out stagnant water and the wetland will for the time being benefit from clean water from the bay being pushed through with the tide.

Foreshore Drive is going to be a costly roadway to maintain going into the future, rising sea levels and the low lying nature of the roadway will be an ongoing issue.

Mayor Ryan Palmer told News Of The Area, “I am very relieved that no one was hurt or injured when the culvert was washed out.”

The recent works on Foreshore Drive cost $590,000 which was funded through the Black Spot program, however it left much to be desired at the Mambo Culvert with no safe pedestrian access leaving residents outraged.

Mayor Palmer went on to say, “The replacement of the culvert will definitely have suitable pedestrian access.”

“It is going to cost around $2 million to replace the culvert, with earthworks going down 17 metres.”

The roadwork took much longer than anticipated due to the low lying nature of the roadway and the time frame of the works was double that anticipated due to the impact of the tide on the road material.

Environmental studies have already been undertaken by Council to allow for remediation of the roadway once funds become available.

“Issues like maintaining the level of salinity in the wetland have been taken into account,” he said.

Residents will be waiting a significant time for the roadway to reopen with the construction work being challenging due to the nature of the environment.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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