News

Rockhampton can build a safe flood levee - project manager

How the flood Fitzroy River flows with the levee bank
How the flood Fitzroy River flows with the levee bank

JIM Niehoff noticed something remarkable about Rockhampton when he came here to lead the $1.2 million flood levee project study.

He had found a city brimming with authorities on levees.

The project manager for AECOM's Rockhampton levee project team shared that observation as he spoke at a 40 person public briefing last week.

"It's obvious from reading the newspaper and listening to the radio that the people of Rockhampton have become experts on levees," he said to chuckles from the invitation-only audience.

"In many respects this is very good. They're looking into educating themselves about what a levee is and the potential for what can go wrong with it.

"(But) I have seen quite a few more levees I think than most of the folks in Rockhampton."

He was introduced as an international expert on levees and proceeded to demonstrate that.

One of his most recent jobs was a $1 billion flood mitigation project in Saudi Arabia following two devastating floods in 2009 and 2011 that killed more than 160 people and caused massive damage to property.

His home town is Denver Colorado where there is a levee to protect the city from frequent flooding despite a very dry climate

He pointed out almost every major city in the United States is built on a major river system and most have levee systems.

Geotechnical Practice Leader at AECOM

James Niehoff

International geotechnical engineering consultant with more than 35 years' experience with the design and construction of foundations for low to high-rise buildings, levees, earth and rockfill dams, landfills, mining and tailings ponds, deep excavations and seismic evaluation.

He has no doubt a safe levee can be built in Rockhampton.

"My wife thinks I'm a very negative person," he said as he sought to answer community concerns about the possibility the levee could wreak havoc by overflowing or breaking.

"That comes from being an engineer as I am constantly trying to decide how something can fail so you can design some aspect that will prevent that failure.

"We read in the paper just about every day what can happen if this occurs and this happens, well that's what we think about every single day when we are putting together design aspects."

If the water level gets higher than the levee a spillway section (in Fiddes St) would allow it to flow over the top, preventing overtopping elsewhere so the water level rises slowly on the inside and outside so it balances out, equalising the pressure on both sides.

AECOM experts spoke about key levee engineering and planning facts.

Some Key Levee Facts:

  • The levee will keep out a 10.38 metre flood (includes 900mm freeboard) and will protect against a 1 in 100 year flood event which includes the highest flood recorded in Rocky being the 10.1m 1918 event.
  • There is additional height to take care of a wave run up, if the levee settles, plus other contingencies.
  • As it follows the land contours, the levee would range from under a metre to 4 metres in height with a predominant height of 1m to 2m.
  • Temporary levee system in Quay and Wharf Sts but the predominant construction will be slopping earthen embankments designed to prevent wave run-up.
  • During the flood event temporary walls will be built in.
  • In other locations a composite section where a temporary wall is placed on top where the levee is more than 1m in height.
  • In some limited short locations a crib retaining wall system.
  • There is a critical focus at the Yeppen crossing. Final models are still being checked.
  • Getting water through there in a smooth manner limits the impact on properties upstream.
  • The levee alignment at Yeppen includes a taper designed to allow water to smoothly flow around Hastings Deering to lessen the impact.
  • Internal drainage features include pump stations to remove excess water.
  • Levee is designed to control seepage.
  • Levees are becoming more widespread The Mackay levee has been integrated into parkland and has withstood two floods already.
  • May 10 open day 10am -2pm Littler-Cum-Ingham Park, Quay St.

Topics:  aecom flood levee rockhampton regional council



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Rockhampton girl to shine in Green Day musical

CENTRE STAGE: Rockhampton's Lorinda Merrypor has been cast in the Brisbane season of Green Day's American Idiot musical, which runs at QPAC from February 23.

The Brisbane season of American Idiot will feature a CQ performer

'Massive amount of damage' to Rockhampton showgrounds

The People's Bar and Control Tower at the Rockhampton Showgrounds were vandalised on Sunday night.

Weekend of racing overshadowed by senseless vandalism

Local Partners

Claws take to court for pre-season hit-out

Injury meant Capricorn Claws' under-19 vice-captain Emily Bleney had to watch from the sidelines as her teammates played pre-season matches on Sunday.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Excitement builds over Da Vinci exhibition

Da Vinci Machines is on display at Rockhampton Art Gallery from 18 March until 25 May.

Exhibition features in excess of 60 models of machines

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to events in CQ this weekend

Aussie Shakespeare is a frenetic and good-humoured canter combining classic Shakespearean stories and characters with Australian themes from cyclones to football to the revolving door of federal politics.

Everything you need to know about events in the region

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has died

Gorden Kaye, pictured in Brisbane in 2007, found fame as a cafe owner Rene Artois in the iconic British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!

ACTOR Gorden Kaye, from BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died.

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

'We are in no better position' after Payne's announcement - Marlborough committee

Linda Geddes, Leslie Olive, Danii McKenzie and Joanne Rea at the meeting

'Minimum acquisition' not in the best interests of our graziers

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

SHOALWATER: Protest efforts against land acquisition ramp up

Craig mustering cattle off the marine plain at their Marlborough property about and hour and a half north of Rockhampton

Online petition attracts loads of signatures, rally next week

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!