Concrete promise on levee
A SECURE flood levee for Lismore is one step closer now workers have begun pouring concrete into the embankment wall.
"We're well-advanced and we hope to be finished by the end of January, weather permitting," Richmond River County Council engineer Bill Moorhouse said.
The Lismore levee was completed in 2005 to protect the CBD and other parts of the city from floods up to the one-in-10-year level.
The original crack in the levee formed after movement in the river bank shifted the foundations during the 2009 flood.
Mr Moorhouse said $2.1million in Federal funding had been allocated to the project, with the Lismore council providing up to $400,000.
The levee wall is being built 3m back from the heritage-listed Lismore Club building.
Mr Moorhouse said the levee would shore-up the town's protection system.
"We'll still have the same level of protection, but where the levee has failed, or looked like failing, we have now made it 100% secure."
FE Marsh and Co of Kyogle is completing the repairs.
Stage one of the project involved workers pulling down a 1970s extension out the back of the Lismore Club in October.
Stage two has now begun with workers pouring concrete into the levee and stabilising the river bank.
The North Coast has received high rainfall in recent weeks and forecasters are predicting higher-than-average rainfall this summer.
Mr Moorhouse said he needed the rain to stay away because "wet weather and concrete don't mix".
"We hope to have it finished before we get the next flood, but there have been very few floods in January that would give us real problems.
"The big floods have been in April and May."
The project has been years in the planning stage and Mr Moorhouse said he was thrilled to finally see the construction taking shape.
"It's not so much a big project, but it turned out to be difficult because there are so many people involved," he said.
"It's taken us nearly two years to get the approval and the funding and now it will only take two months to build it."