Traffic at flood-prone Colleges Crossing today.
Traffic at flood-prone Colleges Crossing today. David Nielsen

Ipswich region on flood alert

A FLOOD warning has been issued for the Lockyer and Bremer rivers today after heavy overnight rain continued into the morning.

Rainfall of up to 50mm in the 3 hours to 10am has resulted in fast rises in the Lockyer Creek catchment.

Minor flooding is likely at Gatton and Laidley later today with moderate flood levels downstream at Rifle Range Rd early on Friday.

Fast rises are also likely along Warrill Creek. At least minor flood levels are predicted later today at Harrisville and Amberley with further rises as rainfall continues.

Minor to moderate flood levels are likely along the Bremer River during today and Friday.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) modelling shows rain and thunderstorms are likely to drench the region well into next week.

It comes as bad news for residents in Ipswich and areas like the Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Scenic Rim, which have recently suffered extensive flooding.

With Wivenhoe Dam almost 100 per cent, there are fears the rain will force dam gates to reopen and flood Colleges Crossing for the fourth time in recent months.

The crossing, which links Ipswich's northern suburbs and the Brisbane suburbs of Mt Crosby and Karana Downs, has just reopened after closing for weeks.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was just as frustrated as the nearby residents about the closures and called on the state-controlled crossing to be given an upgrade.

“It needs to be improved. It goes under too many times, and it's not good enough for our growing city,” Cr Pisasale said.

Member for Moggill Bruce Flegg's electorate borders the crossing. He said the crossing was not a quiet rural road but one that carries about 10,000 cars a day.

“Colleges Crossing is a vital link for our local community and it is all too often closed due to rising water levels,” Dr Flegg said.

Ipswich City Council's works committee chairman Trevor Nardi said the overall cost of the flood clean-up for Ipswich at this stage was between $750,000 and $1 million.

Cr Nardi said Colleges Crossing was expected to cost $45,000 to repair.

It cost about $100,000 to fix last time it flooded.

Karana Downs resident Sue Cardy, a regular user of the crossing for work, said the nearest point to cross was the one-lane Mount Crosby weir off Allawah Road, which was too dangerous to be a regular alternative.

Another point where residents can cross the Brisbane River – the Moggill Ferry – has closed each time Colleges Crossing has closed.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully has long advocated for the ferry to be scrapped and yesterday continued his calls for a bridge to be built at the site.

A Main Roads representative said the suitability of Colleges Crossing and the Warrego Highway to service North Tivoli and Karana Downs was currently being investigated.

The department's report will be done later this year.

BOM is predicting heavy rain with the chance of thunderstorms today with rain expected until next Tuesday along with a number of thunderstorms.



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