General News

13 April, 2024

$1.5m to fix stormwater issue in town

STORMWATER flooding in Byrnes Street, Mareeba will be the subject of a $1.5 million project to be undertaken by the Department of Transport and Main Roads which has been blamed for making the situation worse.

$1.5m to fix stormwater issue in town - feature photo

In a report to Mareeba Shire, officers admit there have been long-standing issues with drainage in the main street, but it was made worse after TMR installed traffic lights in the Rankin/Byrnes Street  intersection five years ago.

“There is presently insufficient underground stormwater drainage infrastructure to adequately service the Mareeba CBD, with much of the stormwater being transported via the kerb and channel before being directed into underground systems east and west of Byrnes Street,” the council report stated.

“In some locations in the CBD, stormwater inundates the footpath and traffic lanes during even the most minor rainfall events, which further reduces safety and accessibility for pedestrians. 

“This has been a long-standing issue and has been further exacerbated by a reconfiguration of the stormwater system at corner of Byrnes Street and Rankin Street by TMR, which occurred during construction of the traffic lights around 2019.

“Council officers have been in discussions with TMR in an effort to have them reinstate the existing drainage path, however this is yet to be actioned by TMR. 

“Notwithstanding, even if TMR return the drainage to its pre-2019 flow paths, there still appears to be insufficient capacity in the CBD stormwater drainage network which needs to be addressed.”

Mareeba’s Traffic Advisory Committee minutes note that the subject was raised numerous times, resulting in TMR advising that it would move to remedy the situation.

“We are aware that during heavy rainfall, temporary flooding can occur at Byrnes Street and Rankin Street intersection, Mareeba,” a TMR spokesperson said.

“Investigations found that while the signalisation of the intersection in 2020 altered the surface flow of runoff due to the change in configuration of the intersection, the roundabout previously in place also had drainage constraints, and provided a similar level of service.

“Drainage upgrade works at this location are estimated to cost about $1.5 million, including installation of an underground stormwater system, including high capacity stormwater pits and pipes.”

TMR says while the drainage upgrade works were currently unfunded, it “will prioritise this location against other competing projects across the state as funding becomes available”.

“In the short-term, TMR is considering kerb improvement works and installation of grated inlet pits to improve surface flow runoff at the intersection as part of TMR’s maintenance program,” the spokesperson said. 

“These works will be prioritised against other important programmed maintenance works across Far North District. 

“At this stage, we are unable to provide specifics on the exact timeframe and possible traffic implications.”


Most Popular