Colleges transformation will deflect flood debris

NEW DESIGN: Chuwar kids (from left) Lachlan, Jessica and Jacob Pomerenke are excited about proposed repairs to Colleges Crossing.
NEW DESIGN: Chuwar kids (from left) Lachlan, Jessica and Jacob Pomerenke are excited about proposed repairs to Colleges Crossing. David Nielsen

BATTERED and bruised but still not dead, Colleges Crossing has somehow managed to maintain its status as a popular family picnic spot over the past 12 months.

The legacy of the 2013 flood is still clear to see, with the lower section of the parkland fenced off from the public and bearing the debris and scars from the fast-flowing water.

All that is about to change, however, with work under way to clear up the park before a reconstruction project worth $3.78 million begins.

It will be the second major flood recovery job at Colleges Crossing within two years and, while this one will be much cheaper, it will also aim to make the park more capable of standing up to any future floods.

Contractor Dig It Landscapes has half-a-dozen workers on the site this week, however that number will increase significantly post-Easter, when the real construction work gets under way.

Plumbing and electrical surveying work will be conducted before the landscapers come up with a final design over the coming weeks.

The entire project should be complete by September, but it can't come soon enough for Chuwar mum Alison Pomerenke and her three kids.

"This area has been great for families to come to over the years - it's the perfect meeting place for people," Mrs Pomerenke said.

"Everyone has been talking about when they will fix it up again.

"It is fantastic that they are making it so it can withstand another flood, because we all know it will happen again some day."

Ipswich City Council was able to obtain more than $11 million in State and Federal government funding for reconstruction work following the initial flood back in 2011.

Work was completed in December 2012 - about four weeks before Groundhog Day.

The 2013 flood did not reach the same height as the 2011 disaster, however it did leave a significant trail of destruction, making shade-sail poles lean over, destroying play equipment, washing gardens away and leaving a significant amount of debris through the park's lower section. The new design includes a provision for massive bollards to be erected to deflect flood debris away from the structures. Of the $3.78 million awarded to council for the project, 75% is provided by the Federal Government and 25% from the State Government.

Topics:  2011 floods, colleges crossing, oswald

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