High Street dip is no blip

DIPS in Wodonga’s High Street are part of a complex engineering solution to eventually get rid of a flash-flooding blackspot in central Wodonga.

Wodonga Council says the design aims to stop large volumes of water pooling at the corner of Hume Street.

Motorists would have first become aware of the dips in High Street when the road was reopened to traffic last week.

High Street had been shut at the Elgin Boulevard intersection since January, with work now focused on the new boulevard section linking Smythe and High streets.

Planning and infrastructure director Leon Schultz said the dips were part of a design that involved about eight months’ work.

“Traditionally what happens in the Wodonga central business area under extreme rain events is that water ponds in the vicinity of the back of the Safeway building,” he said.

Mr Schultz said that on these heavy rain days the water flooded back into the supermarket.

That was the result of stormwater coming down Hume Street and not being able to get away.

Also, water heads down High Street, before turning left along Elgin Boulevard.

“All the water that was falling and running on the road would turn the corner and all accumulate at the corner of Hume Street,” he said.

Mr Schultz said it “made no sense” to allow that to keep happening.

“As a result of that we have to reduce the whole road level in High Street to get that water charging continually down High Street,” he said.

“It will be picked up at points along High Street and then predominantly turn around into (the former) Jack Hore Place, where we will pick it up in large diameter stormwater pipes and dispose of it to the creeks below the proposed Mann development.”

Mr Schultz said the road level of High Street would eventually be dropped in smaller and smaller increments — south towards the water tower and north towards South Street — to match the lower road level through the Elgin Boulevard intersection.

“When the remaining sections of High Street are constructed those dips will not be in place,” he said.

“The whole road will be set at a reduced level to keep stormwater on the road itself and not allow that water to get out and onto the footpath and then into the shops.”

Mr Schultz said the lowering of the other sections of High Street would be considered “over the next month or so” as part of the council’s long-term capital budgets.

“I would say that we’d be giving the traders of High Street in particular ample warning with regard to when works are going to commence,” he said.

“There would be nothing done in the next 12 months, but certainly work should be done in the next two, three or four years.”