Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced a grant of $380,000 which will help prevent Narrandera being cut off during floods.

The Fixing Country Roads grant will fund the installation of culverts on Canola Way at Cowabbie Creek and the raising of 120 metres of road surface by 1.5 metres to remove a causeway, which will help prevent not only road closure during flooding, but also costly road surface damage.

Ms Cooke said the closure of the road causes major problems for road traffic travelling to Narrandera and Wagga Wagga.

“When it rains the water inundates the causeway and washes away the road surface, which leads to closure not just while the water is high but until the damage can be repaired,” Ms Cooke said.

“This grant will see the road level raised by 1.5 metres, eliminating the causeway, and will enable the installation of large culverts which will permit a free flow of water under the road.

“This means that when there is local flooding, Canola Way will ensure traffic can keep using this vital link to and from Narrandera.

“The alternative is for vehicles to go on a lengthy detour via Barellan, Ardlethan and Coolamon, which adds to road users’ costs and takes away time.”

Mayor of Narrandera Shire Neville Kschenka was delighted to see the project getting into gear.

“Cowabbie Creek has been flooding for as long as anyone can remember,” Mayor Kschenka said.

“This flooding quite often occurs when the Gillenbah entrance to the town is flooded, which makes it very difficult for people, and emergency services, to get in and out of town. This upgrade will provide an alternative route in and out of Narrandera.

“Now, unless there’s an extreme event, vehicles will still have access.

“We’ve had support from surrounding councils, as the economic effects of not being able to access Narrandera are substantial.

“For residents and people who work in Narrandera, Grong Grong and beyond, it will be a huge benefit, but it will also be a boost for travellers, who will still be able to get into town, access accommodation and support the local economy.”