Why are Leura Cascades picnic area and walking tracks closed?
Visitor infrastructure at Leura Cascades was damaged when the landslip occurred in February.
Council’s insurance will cover the majority of clean up and repairs to the Leura Cascades Picnic Area. It may be able to be completed in stages, so that the picnic area and walking tracks can be opened as soon as possible.
Council oversees the management of 135kms of walking tracks across the City, more than ninety lookouts and five bushland campgrounds.
As a result of fire and flood damage since December 2020, Council has had to close a number of these areas including Leura Cascades, Prince Henry Cliff Walk at Leura, as well as Charles Darwin Walk, Mt York, Pulpit Rock and Popes Glen.
The repair and restoration of fire and flood damaged infrastructure will require an enormous undertaking by Council with so many natural areas affected in 2020.
What has Council done since the landslip occurred?
Council responded to more than a dozen significant landslip events across the City, following the flooding event.
Since February 2020, Council has:
- Implemented a traffic management plan (Feb 2020)
- Conducted a preliminary geotechnical assessment (Feb 2020)
- Conducted aerial surveys, to monitor slope stability (Feb to March 2020)
- Completed a risk assessment for road rehabilitation (March 2020)
- Conducted detailed geotechnical investigations to enable planning for the clean-up project (April to July 2020).
- Liaised with other stakeholders, such as National Parks and Wildlife Service, who control land in the area and Endeavour Energy and Sydney Water who control infrastructure.
Council is working with the relevant stakeholders from where the original landslip occurred to ensure stabilisation of the area above Cliff Drive. The stabilisation of this area must be completed to ensure the landslip does not reoccur and Cliff Drive can be fully reopened to the public.
How is Council funding this work?
While the stabilisation and remediation costs associated with the landslip above Cliff Drive are still to be confirmed, the clean-up is estimated to cost over $500,000.
Natural Disaster Funding will cover clean-up and slope stabilisation works but not improvements to reduce the impact of possible future landslides.
Council’s insurance will cover the majority of clean up and repairs to the Leura Cascades Picnic Area.
What’s happening with the culvert at Cliff Drive?
Council has allocated $3 million in its assets works program for 2020-2021, to replace the culvert at Cliff Drive that was also impacted during the natural disaster.
Design work on the renewal of the culvert has commenced and it is anticipated construction on the culvert will commence in 2020/21.
Will future construction works be inconvenient and noisy for nearby residents?
Council will engage with the local community and nearby residents to ensure that all are well informed, in advance, of any disruptions and planned construction works.