Signed, sealed, ready to be delivered: contracts exchanged and start date announced for stage 1 of levee upgrade

Work on upgrading one of the city’s most vital pieces of infrastructure will start on 3 October.

The official start date was announced today and coincided with the signing and exchange of contracts for the first stage of the Main City Levee upgrade.

Bathurst-based company Central West Civil will undertake the stage 1 works, which will take about six months to complete.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM, Wagga Wagga City Council General Manager Robert Knight, Council project managers and Central West Civil General Manager Simon Withers were on the levee today for the signing and exchange.

“Today’s announcement is a huge milestone in the delivery of this important project for the city,” General Manager Robert Knight said.

“The upgrade of the levee is a high priority for Council and the community, however, a thorough and considered process, involving many voices, had to be followed before we could get to this construction stage. This included community consultation, studies, designs and seeking funding sources.

“The project is now in a position where all parties are confident that what is built will be the best for the Wagga Wagga community.”

Cr Conkey said the levee upgrade has many benefits for the local community.

“We’ve had to follow an extensive process, and the community will be pleased to learn that construction of the first stage of the levee is now just weeks away,” Cr Conkey said.

“This project is a great example of what can be achieved when all levels of government work together. The levee upgrade helps safeguard our community and boosts confidence in the local economy to drive further investment.”

Who’s building our levee?

Central West Civil have proven experience constructing levees across the state, having recently worked with WaterNSW at Lake Brewster and Hillston and Darlington Point councils to complete large-scale levee embankment and rehabilitation projects.

General Manager of Central West Civil Simon Withers said the company recognised the importance of delivering the project for Wagga Wagga.

“We look forward to starting work in Wagga Wagga this spring. The project has been designed to have minimal impacts to adjoining properties and we are confident we can deliver the works in the assigned six-month timeframe,” Mr Withers said.

Main City Levee upgrade stages

The Main City Levee upgrade will be delivered through a staged construction.

Stage 1 – consists of two levee sections:

  • Section 1 – Flowerdale, including spillway, to Wiradjuri Bridge
  • Section 2 – Copland Street, including spillway, to Kooringal Road Monumental Cemetery

Stage 1 is expected to be complete by April 2018. Stage 2, pending tender process, is expected to start in April 2018 and be complete by the end of the year. The stage 2 Main City Levee upgrade will be from Cadell Place wall (parallel to Fitzmaurice Street) to Johnson Street, then from Riverina Playhouse to Hammond Avenue.

Construction of stage 1

Stage 1 of the levee upgrade consists of embankment levee earthen works and construction of two concrete spillways. Residents will see movement on the banks of the levee from September 2017 for site preparation works. Excavators will move in from October 3, starting at the Flowerdale section of the levee, moving around to the Wiradjuri Bridge. Works will then start on section 2, starting at Copland Street and moving south towards Kooringal Road Monumental Cemetery.

In total, machinery will move 25,000 cubic metres of clay, topsoil and granite as part of the stage 1 upgrade of the levee.

Want more detail on the construction?

View the FAQ ‘what will construction look like’ at www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/levee

How we got here

Major milestones associated with the levee upgrade to date:

Feasibility and community consultation

  • 2010: NSW Public Works Department engaged to carry out feasibility study
  • 2012: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage grant for investigation and concept design works. Final concept design report received mid-2013.
  • 2012/13: Extensive community engagement carried out for Main City and North Wagga levee upgrades

Detailed Design

  • 2013: Council resolution to proceed with design for Main City and North Wagga levee options and look at mitigation options
  • 2013: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage approve NSW Public Works Department to undertake design
  • 2013: WMA Water engaged to revise Wagga Wagga Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan
  • 2014/2015: NSW Public Works Department complete detailed design for Wagga Wagga levee

Approvals

  • 2015: Council resolves to construct Main City Levee to 1 in 100 year level of protection
  • 2015/16: Community engagement and application to IPART for special rate variation (SRV) to help fund levee upgrade. SRV approved and came into effect July 2016.
  • January 2017: Council resolved to go out to tender for Stage 1 construction of Main City Levee upgrade
  • June 2017: Council receives report on tender process and resolves to begin negotiations with preferred tenderer.
  • August 2017: Contracts exchanged between Wagga Wagga City Council and Central West Civil to construct stage 1 of the Main City Levee upgrade.

Funding the levee

The following funding contributions have been made to cover the $23M cost of the Wagga Wagga levee upgrades:

  • City of Wagga Wagga - raising one-third share of $7.75M through a special rate variation, effective from 2016 and maintained for five years
  • State Government - stage 1 grant funding of $2M and stage 2 grant funding of $2.1M
  • Federal Government - $10M of funding.

Note: Costing of $23M is pending tender processes and/or variations.

North Wagga

In July 2015 the Council resolved to proceed with the construction of the Main City Levee to provide a 1 in 100 year level of protection, making allowances for the possibility that the North Wagga levee may also be constructed to provide up to a 1 in 100 year level of protection.

A final position on upgrading the North Wagga Levee is dependent on decisions voted on by the Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee as part of an overall update of the Wagga Wagga Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan. This study and plan are currently being finalised. A report recommending placing the draft study and plan, including options for North Wagga, on public exhibition is expected to go before Council in the coming months.