Levee rise doubt: "If you do it, do it properly"

Floodwater runs high under the Grafton Bridge. Photo: JoJo Newby
Floodwater runs high under the Grafton Bridge. Photo: JoJo Newby

THE Grafton levee will be raised by 50 millimetres if the preferred option for a second bridge is built but the announcement has been met by hesitancy and scepticism.

"The Grafton Bridge preferred option includes a provision to raise 18.1 kilometres of the existing flood levees at Grafton and South Grafton by up to 50mm to ensure flood protection is maintained," a spokeswoman from Roads and Maritime Services said.

Long-time Grafton resident Spiro Notaras was sceptical about the rise and said if the job was worth doing it was worth doing properly.

"50 millimetres would be hopeless," he said.

"Any increase would be good, but if they are going to lift it 50 millimetres, why not 400 millimetres?"

Mr Notaras said if the wall was built up by just 50mm it would still have required sandbagging during the January floods.

"I doubt that is all they will need to do to deal with the higher levels the bottleneck from a second bridge would create," he said. "At Dovedale it was well over the top of the levee wall."

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Rob Donges was hesitant.

"It is the sort of thing the council would have to look at and decide on," he said.

"After all it is the council's levee."

Mr Donges said any construction on the levee would have to be closely controlled to ensure it did not compromise structural integrity.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the council would also need to take into account the effect it would have upstream and downstream.

Topics:  flood grafton bridge levee rise

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