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Action 3. Estuary roads and waterway crossing management

Estuary roads and waterway crossing management

Sediment from adjacent flood affected roads can smother mangrove and saltmarsh vegetation.Roads located near estuaries, including those that cross estuarine waterways, are sites where impacts have been concentrated. This can be due to the road constricting and concentrating flows causing adjacent vegetation to be pushed over, or when flood damage to the infrastructure including gravel lift and shift smothers adjacent riparian and wetland habitats.

Traditional flood recovery funding is limited to “like-for-like” replacements of road and waterway crossings and does not allow for improved designs where possible. This can lead to old, poorly designed or inappropriate structures having their life and environmental impact extended through reconstruction to original design.

Road crossings and weirs

This Action will improve functional and environmental outcomes at road and waterway crossing sites, including weirs, by contributing additional funds that can be used to value-add to existing like-for-like replacement projects through better designs and additional features such as fishways. Low cost sites may be addressed outright. This provides significant resilience to future floods and improved day-to-day environmental outcomes for estuarine systems.

A sediment plume created as water is directed into a drain off an unsealed road impacting estuarine waters.

Unsealed roads

Unsealed roads generate sediment during heavy rains and floods that impact the adjacent waterways and the downstream estuary. Sealing of gravel roads is generally not a priority for post flood recovery funding, leading to ongoing sedimentation impacts on aquatic environments. This Action will provide funding to allow local Councils to undertake road sealing programs to reduce sedimentation of adjacent waterways.

Project delivery

Funding for these projects will generally be provided through a grant program. DPIRD - Fisheries will discuss potential projects with prospective applicants and request that they apply. Applications will be assessed on merit. For further information, follow the NEAP Grant program.