State and Federal governments say they have committed to flood mitigation works on the Newell Highway south of Forbes and will be using data collected in 2022 as well as community feedback to try to reduce the length of future closures.
Catherine King, Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, said planners have analysed data from the 2022 flooding to prioritise the 11km section of highway at Marsden.
"Local residents and freight operators will not be surprised to learn the flood modelling shows the Newell Highway is particularly susceptible to flooding by the Lake Cowal/Bland Creek catchment at Marsden," Minister King said.
"The studies show that the Marsden area flooded first, had the deepest water across the road and was where the highway stayed closed the longest.
"By making work around Marsden the priority for flood mitigation investment, we can ensure we significantly reduce the length of time the Newell Highway is closed during and after any future flood events."
Proposed treatments include installing box culverts (small bridges) to allow water to pass freely under the highway, raising the road level and laying a more robust pavement that would remain open to traffic for longer during flood events, a media release issued this week said.
Transport for NSW will hold face-to-face and online consultations in July, the Forbes sessions are on Tuesday, July 18 from 4.30-6.30pm at Club Forbes, or online from 6.30 to 8pm on Thursday, July 20.
Register your attendance or provide input through the online portal at www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/ww2f-flood-mitigation
NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Jenny Aitchison said understanding the experiences of affected road users was important, as well as the hydrological work.
"Transport for NSW is seeking feedback from community and stakeholders on the proposed flood mitigation as part of the planning process," she said.
"We are launching an online engagement portal and interactive map to allow people to give us feedback on the project. The community can also help support our flood modelling and studies by sharing their flood records or photographs.
"We will be reaching out to landholders in the study area, and holding face-to-face and online consultation sessions where people can drop in to talk to the project team. The feedback, information and insights people share will be used to help inform the project design."