The long-promised upgrade to the culvert that takes Tramway Creek under the railway line at Bulli is again up in the air, with Wollongong City Council now offering no guarantee it will be built.
Residents have been promised the work would be done since 2012, when they were told “detailed design work” was being done by Wollongong City Council.
The council’s manager of infrastructure strategy and planning, Mike Dowd, said the need for the culvert upgrade would have to be assessed again, in the Hewitts Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan.
This plan will not be commenced until next year, providing the council accepts the revised Hewitts Creek flood study and plan. This is a review of the 2002 study that recommended the culvert be upgraded at a cost of $640,000, as a “high priority”.
Mr Dowd said other alternatives needed to be investigated.
“Given the significant costs involved, and technical difficulties with the culvert upgrade, additional investigation is warranted to ensure good value for money as there may be more cost-effective alternatives,” he said.
“This investigation will be undertaken as part of a revised Hewitts Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, which council is aiming to commence after completion of the flood study in 2015, subject to grant funding,” Mr Dowd said.
The cost of the culvert, if it got done, was now estimated at $4.6 million, he said.
“As part of our investigations to improve flood risks for residents, council undertook a detailed design of an upgrade to the Tramway Creek railway culvert in consultation with RailCorp and community stakeholders,” he said.
“This final design, supported by all stakeholders, involves construction of two new three-metre diameter pipes in addition to the existing 2.4metre diameter pipe.
“The final design was constrained by topography and RailCorp requirements, which discounted structures with larger openings, such as a bridge or large box culvert, due to unacceptable operational impacts on the railway.’’
He said following the detailed design, a construction estimate for the works was prepared this year indicating the cost would be approximately $4.6 million.