Causeway for celebration

The Wedderburn causeway flooded in 2013. Picture: Mick Reynolds

The Wedderburn causeway flooded in 2013. Picture: Mick Reynolds

For years Wedderburn residents have had a love-hate relationship with the Wedderburn Road causeway.

While the causeway forms part of the only road in and out of the small town, it’s also extremely susceptible to flooding during a heavy downpour.

When the it floods, residents are left stranded on either side of the gushing waters.

However after years of campaigning, a solution to the causeway conundrum has been given the go ahead with the federal government providing $1.6 million worth of funding for a two-lane, high level bridge at the trouble spot.

Campbelltown Council will match the funding.

Mayor George Brticevic said an alternative to the causeway had been talked about for more than 20 years and he was pleased to be part of the council that would provide the solution.

“I’ve received many emails and spoken to a few residents who have consistently lobbied over this, and now we are finally delivering the bridge. It will come to fruition,” he said.

“This is fantastic news.”

Cr Brticevic the design would enable wildlife – including marine species – to move freely under the bridge.

He also said the causeway would not be closed while the bridge was being constructed so residents would not be inconvenienced.

Pat Durman was one Wedderburn resident who had repeatedly called for the a solution to the flood-prone causeway.

Cause for concern: Pat Durman in the low-lying causeway in 2015. Picture: Anna Warr

Cause for concern: Pat Durman in the low-lying causeway in 2015. Picture: Anna Warr

Mrs Durman previously told the Advertiser she had requested something be done about the causeway since the old wooden bridge was demolished and replaced by the concrete structure about 30 years ago.

She also said the causeway had caused damage to the surrounding landscape.

‘‘[Before the causeway] there was sand on either side of the river, no weeds and people used to have picnics there,’’ she said.

“Now you wouldn’t even take your dog down there.”

Paul Dumont was another resident who had campaigned for an alternative to the causeway.

He even took his concerns directly to former NSW Premier Mike Baird in 2014.

“This causeway which is our only access is low level and floods from time to time trapping the Wedderburn residents in or out,” he wrote in a letter to Mr Baird.

“Wedderburn is a fire prone area, consequently if there is a fire between the residents’ homes and the causeway they would be at the mercy of the fire.

“We do not want to be victims of incidents like the Ash Wednesday bushfires and the Black Saturday bushfires.”

Work is expected to begin by March next year with construction also expected to take about one year.

Trouble spot: Wedderburn resident Paul Dumont (in 2014) has campaigned for years for an alternative to the causeway. Picture: Simon Bennett

Trouble spot: Wedderburn resident Paul Dumont (in 2014) has campaigned for years for an alternative to the causeway. Picture: Simon Bennett

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