Copeton upgrade reaches half way mark

April 2, 2012

The $60 million Copeton Dam safety upgrade has reached the half way mark on schedule despite 811mm of rain falling on the site since the works commenced in April 2011.

 The level of the dam has also risen more than 17 metres, from 48% to 98%, since the start of the project.

The fourth community liaison group meeting will be held at the dam tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, to update project stakeholders on the works.

State Water site co-ordinator Duncan Wilson said the group met every three months to hear how the project had progressed and discuss any issues directly with project managers.

“The consultation group includes representatives from the Copeton Waters State Park, local councils, landowners and groups involved with the dam,” Mr Wilson said.

More than 850,000 cubic metres of earth and rock had been excavated from the site to make way for the new 250-metre-wide spillway. The spillway will enable the dam to safely pass the most extreme flood considered possible and ensure it complies with revised standards set by the NSW Dams Safety Committee since the dams were built.

“The project contractors Macmahon and site co-ordinators NSW Public Works met with project managers State Water in their regular meeting yesterday,” Mr Wilson said.

“We are really pleased with how all of the various elements of this project are progressing, the actual construction works, as well as things like safety, environmental outcomes and team communication.

“There is around 400,000 cubic metres of excavation still to be done and work on the fuse plugs for the spillway is just getting started.”

The new bypass road on top of the coffer dam is now operational, with a pull-over bay for motorists to stop and view the works. Access to the recreation park will be retained throughout the project, and the normal operations of the dam will not be affected. Construction is scheduled for completion in January 2013.