New flood levees 'return rivers to the people'

Flood levee works along the North Esk riverbank will be completed by October, with the levees to double as paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Flood levee works along the North Esk riverbank will be completed by October, with the levees to double as paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

OFFICIAL completion of Launceston's flood levees is expected by the end of October.

Pathways, cycle tracks and elevated walkways over the massive mounds - protecting the city from a one-in-200-year flood - are getting the final touches.

"All the levees can be used as functional linkages throughout the city," a pleased Launceston Flood Authority general manager Andrew Fullard said yesterday.

"It's great for cyclists because there's no traffic risk, also the amenity created by the rivers is quite phenomenal.

"Once we pull the fences down people are going to go 'wow, this is nice'.

"We're not turning our back on the rivers, we're returning the rivers to the people."

Part of this also involves a separate but complementary program of sediment raking.

The authority has been taking advantage of king tides in the past week to rake out large amounts of sediment, which has bogged the Tamar River for decades.

A new levee was completed around the Kings Wharf silos in June as a separate project.

The old silos are being redeveloped into a hotel by developer Errol Stewart.

The levee in front of the nearby Boral site at North Bank is not yet finished - however, Mr Fullard said the existing levees still provide one-in-200-year flood protection.

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