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Highway still under water

Friday, 21st January, 2011

A trench is being dug to help channel the water that is blocking the Barrier Highway near Wilcannia. A trench is being dug to help channel the water that is blocking the Barrier Highway near Wilcannia.

It could be another five or six days before the Barrier Highway is reopened, according to the Central Darling Shire's General Manager.

General Manager Tim Hazell said earth moving equipment was on site yesterday and traffic was being diverted around the Wilcannia to Broken Hill stretch of the highway which is blocked by a one kilometre expanse of water. 

The road is cut about 24 kilometres west of Wilcannia.

Mr Hazell told the BDT yesterday that the water was about 1.2 to 1.3 metres deep.

"The guide posts are a metre out and you can't see the guide posts," he said.

"It Is stable, it hasn't risen all day. Mind you, it hasn't gone down all day, either."

Mr Hazell had said the water was collecting on a part of the road that had not been flooded before.

"This is the strange thing, but it's formed a natural dam/tank."

Excavators were brought in on Wednesday to enlarge a channel that was dug on Tuesday. 

The excavators and other heavy machinery were still there yesterday afternoon but Mr Hazell was hopeful of having the trench ready by the evening.

"(We want to) see if we can dissipate the water by deepening and widening the channel," he said.

With the process almost finished, the water will be drained off the road.

Mr Hazell praised the heavy machinery operators and Road and Traffic Authority for the work they have done.

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