Flooded Hunter roads raise motorists’ ire

Floodwater: Drivers negotiate the flooded section of Industrial Drive at Tighes Hill during recent heavy rains. Drainage works are planned for the area. Picture: Marina Neil The NRMA has described the $500,000 allocated for drainage works at Industrial Drive, Tighes Hill as a drop in the bucket compared to what it required to fix the chronic flooding hot spot.

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The two kilometre stretch of roadway has been the subject of a deluge of complaints from motorists concerned aboutsafety issues arising from flash flooding that regularly occurs in the area.

The arterial road is one of numerous flooding problems that plague motorists across the city.

“The Hunter has been smashed by storms twice in the past 12 months. We have seen whole roads and in some cases suburbs go under water,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.

“It’s important that governments allocate sufficient funding to maintain our roads and even rebuild them if necessary.”

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said$500,000 had been allocated this financial year to start drainage improvement work on Industrial Drive north of Elizabeth Street.

“Investigations were completed last year along this section of road, which is low lying and can be affected by tidal flows in Throsby Creek,” he said.

“The first stage of work is expected to start in the next few months and involves relocating and utilities and installing new drainage pipes.”

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said there were a number of flooding hotspots across the city.

“We continually see issues withTurton Road, Broadmeadow,Industrial Drive roundabout, Tighes Hill,Industrial Drive near Tourle Street in Mayfield West,Maitland Road, Hexham,” he said.

He said the increased incidenceofextreme weather events meant more needed to be done to address flooding.

“I will work to ensure that these communities do not become isolated when the east coast lows hit Newcastle,” he said.

“I was pleased to report upgrades to Turton Road to a concerned constituent last year. I will continue to represent Newcastle residents this year to ensure their safety.”

The Newcastle Herald and other Fairfax Media mastheads in the region are campaigning to fix flood-prone Hunter roads.

The former State Emergency Services deputy director generalChas Keys told Fairfax Media recently that while localcouncils and state governments placed a lot of emphasis on whether new developments could become ­inundated, not enough attention was given to­surrounding infrastructure such as roads.

“Traditionally, our urban planning has taken note of inundation as an issue,” he said.

“But there are problems that happen not just with inundation, but with isolation.