Stephen Bell near the new road works he says will cause more flooding. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Stephen Bell near the new road works he says will cause more flooding. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Fears new Malchi Nine Mile access road a trap in floods

STEPHEN Bell, who lives on a property near Gracemere, is hoping another flood doesn't come his way.

Mr Bell lives just off of the Capricorn Highway, and is worried another flood will cut off residents on Malchi-Nine Mile Rd.

Malchi-Nine Mile Rd runs through an old concrete floodway and goes under water when it rains, but Mr Bell says that's not even the biggest issue.

A new access road is being built 200m upstream from the floodway to give residents access to the new overpass on the Capricorn Hwy, but the new road has taken a hit from this year's floods.

"The drama is, that as soon as it rains, that old cement floodway goes under and stays under," Mr Bell said.

"What Main Roads have done is build a new road upstream from the floodway to give us access to the overpass, because they are going to close off the old concrete floodway."

Not only is Mr Bell worried that the new road won't hold up when it rains, but he believes it is starting to act as a dam and cause water to back up.

"In my opinion, a road that is freshly engineered should not be destroyed before it's even opened," Mr Bell said.

Mr Bell, who is a support officer at Aurizon, said when the old concrete floodway would go under water, residents could take nearby Kabra-Scrubby Creek Rd to get onto the highway.

But if the new access road is backing up water, it'll back up through the paddock and cut off Kabra-Scrubby Creek Rd as well, he said.

"We are marooned by their (Main Roads) engineering," Mr Bell said.

He voiced further concerns that when the road did officially open, and if a flood hit again, it could take months to fix.

"It's not a five-minute fix ... If you're going to build something, build something that at least can perform during a flood event," he said.

"It was knocked over on January 25, it's now April and it's still not repaired.

"Another real concern is that in a minor event, like on March 2 when it rained again, it still didn't provide access to the highway because it was breached by water."



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