Emungalan Road residents have been readying their tinnies and their frustrations for another wet season cut off from Katherine.
Despite many promises over recent years that work on a new bridge over Nixon’s Crossing (Leight Creek) is imminent, no work has started.
Almost $4 million in funding has been secured from the NT and Federal governments for construction of a new higher level bridge.
Announcements of the funding came in 2015 and 2016.
Even with a delayed wet season, Emungalan residents will likely soon face days and weeks at a time where they will have to locate vehicles either side of the creek and boat across.
The creek’s waters are backed up by the swollen Katherine River.
The NT Government has this week called another tender for the design and costing for the construction of the bridge.
In January 2016 the project was costed at $3.865 million.
Katherine Town Council last year met with residents of Emungalan Road saying it was also frustrated the work had been held up by first funding, then native title and other issues.
The crossing is less than 5km from the centre of Katherine, and within the town boundary.
According to tender documents released this week, the proposed upgrade level is five metres from the existing deck level of the crossing “however, engineering investigation, flood study and the available funding will govern the final level of the crossing to be upgraded”.
“The aim of the project is to provide project development, detailed design and documentation for the construction of a new bridge and alignment.
“The aim of the construction of new bridge alignment is to reduce the average annual time of closure of Emungalan Road, increase safety and access for residents, road users and other key stakeholders ...”
It is hoped the new bridge can be completed in time for the 2019-20 wet season.
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