Suma Park dam upgrade makes progress

Article image - Suma Park dam upgrade makes progress Orange Mayor John Davis and Member for Orange Andrew Gee take a first-hand look at the new concrete panels that extend the height of the Suma Park dam wall

Member for Orange Andrew Gee and Orange Mayor John Davis have visited the Suma Park dam wall site to inspect progress on the $17 million upgrade project, which is due for completion by the end of the year.

With about 30 of the three-metre high wall extensions now in place on one side of the dam wall, the project has reached another milestone.

Councillor Davis said he’s delighted that around a third of the project has now been completed.

“The community of Orange has been waiting a long time to see the size of the dam increased, and it’s tremendous to see real signs of progress.

“In partnership with the NSW Government, Orange City Council is delivering a key piece of infrastructure that will benefit the region for years to come.

“By making the wall three metres higher on the sides and one metre higher at the spillway, the dam’s capacity is increased and it’s made safer.

“In the event of a flood the higher walls on the sides, push the water towards the spillway in the middlle.”

The project is also about one third of the way towards building the auxiliary spillway alongside Bulgas Road and the strengthening of the foundations at the base of the main dam wall.

Mr Gee has also welcomed the latest construction milestones.

“Raising the dam wall is a vital part of securing Orange’s water supply and the city’s future growth, so it’s tremendous to see things progressing well.

“All that passing drivers on Bulgas Road can see now is foundations, but soon a new dam wall will emerge that consists of a series of concrete fuse-gates. In the event of a one in a 1,000-year flood, this is the system that will enable a slow, controlled release of floodwaters.

“At the base of the dam wall, a series of holes are being drilled twenty metres deep in the surrounding rock to anchor a new concrete stilling basin in place.

“This part of the project will bring the dam into line with contemporary safety standards, in the event of a one in a million year flood.”

The project is being jointly funded by Orange City Council and the NSW Government through its NSW Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program.