Avoca Dell’s riverfront is wrecked – who is to blame?
A local resident wants to know why sections of washed-away river bank have been left derelict for months.
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On summer weekends, Avoca Dell Reserve can be one of the busiest spots in Murray Bridge – and warmer weather is only a couple of months away.
So why has the riverfront there been left in such an untidy state?
That’s what at least one local resident wants to know, months after the completion of a landscaping job intended to prevent erosion.
Instead, several sections of riverbank have since washed away, leaving native grasses and mulch to spill into the River Murray and exposing stretches of the sand underneath.
“Why would you plant plant beds right at pool level when you know the river goes up and down?” the resident, who asked not to be named, said.
“No-one comes here to look at a garden – it could have got planted by the playground (away from the river’s edge).”
The Avoca Dell revamp was based on a similar, successful revitalisation of Sturt Reserve between the boat ramp and the bunyip.
But Sturt Reserve was more sheltered from wind and waves, the resident pointed out.
Avoca Dell was much more prone to them, and the resulting damage should have been predicted.
Now ratepayers’ money would have to be used to fix it.
However, the council’s infrastructure and assets general manager, Heather Barclay, blamed the damage on storms and high water levels in June.
The works – which were approved by South Australia’s Environment Protection Authority and Department for Environment and Water – were supposed to have had time to settle over winter.
With current high water levels expected to continue for several more months, the council was now waiting for advice on the best time to repair the damage, she said.
“What we’re going to do is a bit of remedial work to make Avoca Dell Reserve safe to begin the ski season in October,” she said.
“We won’t be reinstating the reed beds at the moment.
“Once (river levels) start to settle, then we’ll look to remediate it properly.”
River levels at Murray Bridge were about 22 centimetres higher than usual on Thursday, according to SA Water, and were up 8cm when the storms struck back in June.