Natural disaster clean-up at Cliff Drive and Leura Cascades a major project for Council
The natural disaster in February that closed Cliff Drive and Leura Cascades has left a complicated and expensive clean-up for Blue Mountains City Council.
A landslip on slopes above Cliff Drive, caused by flash flooding from a one-in-50-year rainfall event, resulted in extensive damage to 5000sqm of land and the closure of roads and walking tracks in the area.
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.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said this major project was complicated by land tenure that includes private property, public land, as well as infrastructure owned by Endeavour Energy and Sydney Water.
“Since February, Council has conducted detailed geotechnical investigations in the area to enable planning for remediation, conducted aerial surveys to monitor slope stability, completed a risk assessment for road rehabilitation and implemented a Traffic Management Plan,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“Council is now investigating potential options to enable a safe partial reopening of Leura Cascades and Chelmsford Drive as well as longer-term remediation options for the stabilisation of the entire slope.”
While the stabilisation and remediation costs associated with the landslip 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.
“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,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“Design work on the renewal of the culvert has commenced and it is anticipated construction on the culvert will commence in 2020/21.
“I urge Blue Mountains residents, who love this popular area, to be patient. Council is keen to have this area reopened as soon as possible, but it is complicated.”
Council responded to more than a dozen significant landslip events across the City, following the flooding that occurred 7 to 9 February. Council also received hundreds of calls for assistance from residents after private infrastructure was unable to cope with the unprecedented deluge.
Council’s Charles Darwin Walk, another popular visitor area impacted by the flash floods, also has a large clean-up bill.
Meanwhile, the summer bushfires caused more than $1 million worth of damage to reserves in the upper Blue Mountains – at Blackheath, Mount Victoria and Mount York.
For more information on this major remediation project at Cliff Drive and Leura Cascades go to: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/cliff-drive.