Is this Australia’s largest pothole? Nine-metre deep chasm in a road finally fixed after council removed fish, built an entire dam to pump out floodwater and filled it with 7,000 cubic metres of clay
- A nine metre deep pothole has been filled
- The crater was filled with water and fish
- It was caused by flooding in November
A massive nine-metre deep pothole in a country road has finally been repaired after fish and crustaceans made a home inside it during five months of floods.
Five months after it first appeared in the Booligal-Gunbar Road in far south-western NSW during a flood event, contractors and Hay Shire Council workers finally filled in the huge chasm.
To do so council workers had to create a makeshift damn to drain the floodwater from the crater, which held a number of fish and yabbies by the time repair work had begun.
The crater spanned 40 metres in length and was 15 metres wide, and required 7,000 cubic metres of clay to fill in once the water had been drained.
The western NSW region is the flattest place in the southern hemisphere, creating a headache for workers trying to drain the pool.
Crews needed to create a makeshift dam to drain the ditch before they could begin repairing the road
The pothole measured 45 metres in length, 15 metres in width and was nine metres deep
The council needed needed several trucks and three contract crews to clear the area that had been flooded by an adjacent river since November.
A month ago the waters had finally settled enough for Council operations manager Greg Stewart to survey the area with crews and begin the repair work.
‘Council were unable to slow the flow for a period of five months to be able to do the repairs,’ Mr Stewart told Daily Mail Australia.
‘To be honest the community, particularly Booligal village, were very patient and understanding throughout the works.’
Speaking to ABC, Mr Stewart said the odd job got the attention of his entire crew.
‘We put a survey staff down and it went down two and a half metres initially, so we knew it was going to be big,’ Mr Stewart said.
‘All the guys wanted to work out on that project because it was very unique, something we’re not used to.’
After building the on-the-spot dam to begin pumping the water out, Mr Stewart said sea creatures were spotted escaping the waters.
‘The guys would report back to say how long it was taking and how much water was coming out.
‘The amount of fish and yabbies swimming out, walking out.’
Once the pumps had done their job and cleared the ravine, workers were left with the canyon.
Over 7,000 cubic metres of clay was required to fill in the gaping chasm
The flat plains in NSW, the flattest in the southern hemisphere, looked like oceans in the aftermath of the 2022 floods
Two excavators and five tip trucks were required to get the 7,000 cubic metres of clay into the hole since Mr Stewart’s trucks only held nine cubic metres per load.
‘We had trucks queuing and [the clay] had to be put in in layers and compacted.
‘It was just a case of dumping 7,000 cubic metres in a hole — so that was a bit time consuming,’ Mr Stewart said.
Despite a number of washouts on the road, the Hay Shire council hopes to be able to re-open it to four-wheel-drivers before Easter.