Cessnock Road at Testers Hollow remained closed for a fifth day on Sunday due to floodwater.
The Mercury has launched a campaign that calls on the state government to raise the road and provide a permanent solution to the ongoing flooding problems at Testers Hollow.
Floodwater still covered part of the major link road between Maitland and Cessnock on Sunday afternoon after more than 200mm of rain pelted the region last week.
News of the floodwater reached wildlife in the area and on Sunday a group of pelicans went for a paddle on the usually busy road.
Waterbirds may be happy with the situation but residents on both sides of the divide are angry that the state government has still not fixed the flooding issue on Cessnock Road.
It is a key route to the Hunter Expressway.
Some residents say the road has been flood-prone for more than 50 years.
The floodwater may have subsided enough for the road to be reopened to traffic on Monday, but that will be of little comfort to regular users of the route who know it’s only a matter of time before the road is cut again if nothing is done.
The fact that this is the second time that floodwater has taken the road out of action in nine months has only made their frustration more acute.
In a street poll the Mercury conducted, seven of the eight respondents strongly agreed that the government needed to take quick action to prevent the road flooding in the future.
But if last year’s April super storm wasn’t enough to get the road fixed, the question is: What will it take for the problem to be addressed?
The Mercury believes now is the time for action.
In the coming weeks, this newspaper will investigate the history of flooding at Testers Hollow, the possible solutions that have been touted in the past and try to find out why nothing has been done to date.
We will ask questions of key stakeholders at local and state levels and show the government that this is a problem that the Maitland community desperately needs to be solved, before the road goes under again.
Anyone who wants to add to the public debate can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.