Benefits outweigh risks on River Trail, Gympie Mayor Mick Curran says.
Benefits outweigh risks on River Trail, Gympie Mayor Mick Curran says. Renee Albrecht

Curran muses over the challenge of building in a flood zone

RIVER walkers will have to wait a little bit longer to take in the Mary River, with the project's opening once again delayed by heavy rain and minor flooding.

Agreeing there was a funny side to the river walk once again going under, Gympie Region Mayor Mick Curran said the project had been embarked on knowing it would be getting swallowed up by its main attraction from time to time.

"Whilst we've got to be risk averse, council unanimously supported that project and we accepted the risk behind it,” he said.

"Quite obviously I didn't design it, councillors didn't design it, we had engineers design it. Engineers who knew full well... the difficulties they were facing with building a piece of good infrastructure in a flood zone.”

The slippage that had occurred in October was from water run-off above the trail and not the river, he said, and while some images on social media had captured the damage, others were of trail parts which were incomplete.

"They were pictures of the unconstructed part of the river (trail),” he said. "After the first minor flooding event, there was slippage, but the rest of it held up really, really well.”

Due to the wet weather, the expected reopening of The Sands has been pushed back to next Friday, December 15, and geotechnical testing on the slipped area which was to have been done on Tuesday will be rescheduled.

However, Cr Curran said like other regional infrastructure, repair work needed after future floods was accounted for in the council budget's disaster contingency. And in the grand scheme, the walk would provide the community with something they had collectively called for over the years.

"It's going to be a good thing,” he said. "You can see people chomping at the bit to get down there and use it, which is great.”

Gympie Times


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