Risky causeway to be upgraded

HALF of million dollars will be spent upgrading Stoney Creek causeway following a drowning last year.

Penrith and Blacktown councils have been successful in getting NSW Road toll response package funding for the notorious causeway which floods in heavy rain.

The upgrade will include installation of a barrier, removal of hazards, widening of culverts, improvements to floodgates and electronic automatic signage at each end of the roads

The technology can send SMS messages to councils and police to ensure the gates are closed at the earliest possible time.

Next month will mark a year since Owen "OJ" Fitzpatrick died in floodwaters when authorities didn't close the gates on the causeway.

Blacktown Council will manage the project and work is scheduled to start in February.

"But we are not stopping there. We are working to ensure that there is a bypass for the causeway in the future," Londonderry MP Bart Bassett told State Parliament last week.

He is working with neighbouring Riverstone MP Kevin Connolly to secure a road in the Marsden Park release area.

The draft plan will go out on public exhibition shortly for a road that will connect the area from St Marys Stoney Creek Road through the new subdivision and rezoning to Richmond Road, and bypass the causeway.

"In the meantime, we will be rectifying the safety issues on the existing causeway so that there is no repeat of the tragic event that occurred," Mr Bassett said.

Shanes Park resident and long-time campaigner Lisa Xuereb's reaction was "wow". She still believes the road should be raised.

"It's a positive step that they're doing something," Mrs Xuereb said. "We've tried for so long to get something done and got no response. I'd like to know more about the bypass."

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