Flood-prone bridge gets automatic gauge
ONE of the first bridges to go under in any flood or storm event will now be monitored automatically, giving information for travellers and residents.
The Bluff Bridge Flood Monitoring System was switched on this week heralding benefits for users of the Orara Way and the residents of Glenreagh.
Flooding on the Orara River has caused the Orara Way to close on numerous occasions at Bluff Bridge. The aim of this project is to ensure that any road closures can be communicated in a safe and timely manner to motorists and the local community.
Council’s Floodplain Coordinator, Kieran McAndrew said that it included the installation of a remotely monitored flood gauge in the Orara River with automatic signs controlled by water levels.
“A camera is also aimed at The Bluff Bridge and this live streams an image so residents can see the bridge status in real time on Council’s website,” Mr McAndrew said.
“During normal conditions the camera images are updated once every hour but more frequently during flood events.
“Images are time and date stamped to enable people to tell when they were taken.
“Unfortunately, there was a delay in switching on the monitoring system due to vandalism and theft which took place in June.
“I want to reiterate that this is an important and potentially lifesaving community asset and I encourage the community to contact NSW Police if they witness any suspicious behaviour. Council offers a reward up to $2000 for any information that leads to the conviction of an offender for malicious damage.”
Clarence Valley Local Commander for the NSW State Emergency Service Sue Chapple welcomed the announcement of the new flood monitoring system.
“It is critically important to monitor river levels during flood events and the installation of a camera and monitoring system will be a valuable resource.
“To read the river gauge at this location our teams would often travel long distances, in dangerous conditions.
“Not only will the camera give up-to-date information on the myroadinfo.com.au website it will also free up our personnel to attend to other requests for assistance,” Ms Chapple said.
Clarence Valley Council co-funded the project with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, securing funding for the project under the Floodplain Management Grants Program.