Oakhampton Road set to open early October with the arrival of a specialised fibreglass internal pipe liner to restore the integrity of the 280 metre Penstock Tower pipeline damaged during flooding earlier this year. .
Minister for Water Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the $1.94 million repair project was crucial to restoring the road network's integrity and ensuring Maitland is protected from most future flooding events.
"The 60-year-old floodway plays a vital role in protecting Maitland from major floods and diverting flood waters around the CBD," Mrs Pavey said. "Unfortunately, during the March 2021 flood, the pipeline was damaged leading to a growing sinkhole and putting Oakhampton Road at risk of collapse.
"The works will repair the collapsed section of pipe and backfill the sinkhole before reenforcing the pipeline with the liner. The liner is innovative technology which creates a new pipe, without the need to dig up the old one, which is buried 9 metres below the road." Mrs Pavey said digging up the existing pipe would have had a major impact on the community and landholders, leading to the replacement of the road and potentially services like sewerage, water and telecoms.
"The use of the liner will save both time and money, allowing motorists to return to Oakhampton Road and ensuring the region is prepared for future flood events sooner. The liner is expected to extend the life of the pipe for at least 50 years," Mrs Pavey said. "Having the road closed has inconvenienced many but it was necessary for community safety."
The liner will be winched through the 280m pipe, inflated and cured in place by an ultraviolet light. Grout will be pumped into the pipeline to fill gaps between the pipe and liner. Repairs should be complete by early October.