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Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is progressing with an extensive road repair and assessment program across the Region in the wake of four declared flood events in the past six months.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was working as fast as practicable to repair roads to a safe and trafficable standard across the Region.
“It is a huge undertaking to maintain emergency road repairs, particularly in the wake of successive flood events that occurred in November 2021, then late February-early March, in early April and again last month,” Mayor Antonio said.
“This has been an extraordinary time for prolonged rain events, with above average rainfall, and extensive flooding, which has damaged urban and rural roads across much of our 13,000km² Region.
“In addition to the most recent rain events, Council has been undertaking long-term repairs valued at more than $30 million following the declared February 2020 flood event. This work is scheduled for completion in August this year. Successive weather events have delayed those repairs and added extra sites to the list.
“In March this year, Council submitted an initial list of projects for which we are seeking Betterment funding from the Commonwealth and State governments. The Betterment program specifically allows roads and other infrastructure to be built to a more flood resilient standard.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates the repair bill from this year’s flood events may be more than $100 million.”
TRC Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor said Council was determined to improve the Region’s flood immunity and complete immediate, smaller road repairs as quickly as possible.
“We ask for residents’ patience as we attend to our massive road repair program,” Cr Taylor said.
“Council is responsible for a road network that covers more than 6600km (more than 3300km of sealed and more than 3300km of gravel roads).
“Since November 2021, Council has completed minor repairs to more than 2800 road defects across our road network. We have almost the same number of minor repairs yet to complete from the list.
“Motorists are advised to use extreme caution at all times. Please observe any warning signs and drive to the conditions, as not every hazard will be signposted.
“May 2022 was an unseasonally wet month and there are more than 30 roads, mostly state-controlled roads, across our Region that are still closed or have significant hazards which pose a danger to motorists. (as at June 8, 2022. For road closure advice, please visit http://disaster.tr.qld.gov.au/ )
“In addition to our emergency road repairs that will continue in coming months, Council is capturing and analysing information to develop detailed funding submissions that will be lodged with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
“As these submissions are reviewed and approved, Council will prioritise works as we undertake the multi-million-dollar flood restoration program, which will take at least the next two years.
“Following the 2010/2011 record flood events, Council undertook the largest flood recovery program the Region has seen. This program was interrupted by further flooding in early 2013 and in 2015. The Region has also experienced further flood events in 2018, 2020, plus the events of late 2021 and this year.”
Caption: Gilmore Road, Spring Creek (top) and Bostock Road, Brookstead, below, are among the many road repair sites.