In a strategic collaboration with Seymour Whyte and the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC), SMEC has been awarded the Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project, aiming to fortify flood resilience for the Toowoomba Region. The venture will cover crucial enhancements to the dam's ability to manage excess water during intense rainfall, including an elevation of the dam crest height to align with contemporary engineering standards and safety protocols.

The project's primary objective is to augment the flood capacity and resilience of Cressbrook Dam while preserving its existing drinking water storage capacity of 81,900 megaliters.

SMEC is set to initiate the Detailed Design phase, encompassing the widening of the dam spillway, increasing the embankment, and configuring the design of the plunge pool.

Expressing enthusiasm about the collaboration, Kate Drews, SMEC ANZ CEO (Acting), stated: "We are pleased to be working alongside our Alliance partners to help deliver resilient water infrastructure for the Toowoomba Region. The long-term viability of key assets like Cressbrook Dam is vital to regional communities, and we look forward to bringing our expertise to the project."

In addition to flood resilience improvements, the project will address environmental considerations. The design and construction will incorporate provisions for natural fish migration, and circular economy principles will be integrated, promoting the reuse of rock materials.

Louiza Van Vuuren, SMEC’s Design Manager for the project, said: "We are looking forward to working with Toowoomba Regional Council and Seymour Whyte to deliver technical excellence on Council’s biggest project to date. Our team is committed and excited to successfully deliver the project, which will extend the safe operation of this critical water infrastructure asset."

The enhancements are necessary to comply with updated flood capacity modeling guidelines set by the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD).

Construction is slated to commence in 2024, with key works anticipated to conclude by late 2025. Ancillary works may extend until the end of 2026. 

Image courtesy of Toowoomba Regional Council. Cr Carol Taylor (back left), Cr James O’Shea, Cr Bill Cahill, Cr Melissa Taylor, Cr Nancy Sommerfield, Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan, Cr Tim McMahon, Cr Kerry Shine and Cr Edwina Farquhar witness the ceremonial tender signing by Seymour Whyte Chief Operating Officer Steve Lambert (front left), Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald and SMEC ANZ Acting CEO Kate Drews.