Shoalhaven River flood emergency: Specialist teams use jet-skis to further secure Nowra bridgework barge

The Shoalhaven River reached moderate flooding levels during this week’s big wet – it’s the fifth time Fulton Hogan teams have been impacted by floods since starting the project.

The river flooding not only caused problems for residents in low lying areas like Terara, Shoalhaven Heads and Greenwell Point.

Despite Fulton Hogan crews and Transport for NSW taking precautions ahead of the predicted flooding event, on Thursday a specialised marine rescue and emergency response team were needed to access one of the large barges on the river, after its anchor moved due to the volume of flood water flowing down the river.

The specialised teams used jet-skis to navigate the swollen river to access the barge to attach additional anchors.

“During the flooding, water levels surrounding the Nowra Bridge project rose and an anchor on the project barge moved,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

“Crews worked to further stabilise the barge with additional anchors, including anchoring to the shoreline.”

“This work was carried out with the assistance of a specialised marine rescue and emergency response team who accessed the barge with the aid of jet-skis and to attach additional anchors.”

The barge is now secure and will continue to be monitored.

“Specialised marine rescue and emergency response teams accessed one of the large Nowra bridge work barges on the Shoalhaven River, after its anchor moved in the volume of flood water.”

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, floodwaters in the river peaked at the Nowra bridge site at 3.27 metres.

Floodwater at Nowra just after 1pm on Friday was 2.34m and falling, however a minor flood warning was still current for the Shoalhaven River.

The spokesperson said Transport for NSW had plans in place for potential flooding.

“Early this week the site was prepared and items removed or secured in accordance with the project’s emergency flood mitigation plan,” the spokesperson said.

This is now the fifth flood the teams have faced during their time on the Shoalhaven River.

“Other temporary works appear to have sustained minor damage; however, a full assessment of the impacts cannot be made until the floodwaters recede,” the spokesperson said.

A large amount of timber and wood debris from upstream has also become lodged around the barge, bridge piers or other temporary work elements.

Last month the project had reach three quarters of the way across the river with 13 of the 19 concrete decks on the 380 metre bridge in place, while half of the final pylon had also been poured.

The project was on course to be across the Shoalhaven River by mid year, however, it’s not know what impact the delays due to the flooding will now have and actually how long it might be for work crews to be able to fully access the site again.


SOURCE: Article by Robert Crawford, South Coast Register. Published March 4 2022 < >