Keepit Dam wall closed to public for safety upgrades

Keepit's upgrade plan.
Keepit's upgrade plan.

Public access to the dam wall will be restricted for two-and-a-half-years as construction works on the multi-million dollar Keepit Dam safety upgrade continue.

Works to strengthen the dam wall will begin in April, however access will be restricted from March 23 until 2019.

SRG Limited were awarded the tender for the second stage of the NSW Government’s Keepit Dam upgrade in November 2016, with $24.4 million allocated to the WaterNSW project.

WaterNSW executive manager asset solutions and delivery Andrew George said stage two works to strengthen the main dam wall will involve vertically installing post-tensioned cable anchors.

“For safety reasons, public access to the main wall will not be permitted during the site preparation or construction periods, however a viewing and turning area will be available at the approach to the main wall,” Mr George said.

Mr George said the water level of the dam and normal water releases will not be affected by the upgrade and access to recreational areas will be maintained throughout the works.

“WaterNSW has been in contact with recreational user groups and landowners regarding the Keepit upgrade and will continue to keep them informed as the project progresses,” Mr George said.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said water security is a critical issue for the region.

“We hear it all the time, but water security is so important to our region.” Mr Anderson said. 

“When we continue to secure our future water supply we see the benefits throughout the whole community.

“If there are minor disruptions to achieve the upgrades, I think we’ll all accept them because we know the importance of water in regional areas.”

Keepit is one of seven dams WaterNSW is upgrading to comply with NSW Dams Safety Committee standards for the ability to withstand extreme floods and earthquakes. WaterNSW said another benefit of the upgrade is improved environmental outcomes through implementation of a biodiversity offset plan.

Keepit Dam’s safety upgrade is being carried out in two packages of work with the first completed in 2012, which involved constructing new spillways and saddle dams.

Ahead of stage two, a $2.2 million electrical relocation project was undertaken and completed in 2014.