That sinking feeling: New year promise for Leonay residents

Council and Sydney Water are working to repair a sinkhole in Leonay. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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There will be no Christmas miracle for Leonay residents, after they were told it will be at least February before a giant sinkhole that has become the suburb’s biggest talking point is repaired.

Almost one year ago, the crater formed on River Road following a flood event of the nearby Nepean River.

Since then, it has almost doubled in size, amid ongoing complications  surrounding its restoration.

Now, after being told it won’t be repaired until several months into next year, frustrations are growing.

Rich Rossetto is just one of the residents who told the Weekender that everyone is fed up with their new dead end street.

“It’s an absolute joke,” he said.

“You can’t actually get through, so it is annoying. It should be done by now.”

Due to the road block, there’s now only one main way in and out of the suburb, which is a major inconvenience for residents.

“I’ve been working in Penrith, so I should be driving three kilometres down the road, but instead, I’ve got to drive an extra two-and-a-half kilometres and sit in traffic every day,” Rossetto said.

“If we’re not out the door by 8.08am, we’re stuck in the traffic with everyone else on Leonay Parade, 40 cars deep waiting to get on the freeway.”

A spokesperson from Penrith City Council told the Weekender that they are working with Sydney Water to repair the sinkhole.

“The sinkhole on River Road, Leonay, was a result of a significant major flood event that caused extensive damage both to the road and underground conditions,” the spokesperson said.

“The repair is quite complex due to the critical underground infrastructure. Work on the sinkhole has recommenced following consultation with Sydney Water and we look forward to reopening the road once repairs have been completed in the New Year.”

A Sydney Water spokesperson said the organisation is liaising with Council to ensure the sinkhole is fixed properly.

“Sydney Water met with Penrith Council on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, to provide advice on their requirements to complete repairs on River Road, Leonay,” the spokesperson said.

“Sydney Water has critical assets in the vicinity which need to be protected. All works relating to these assets must be approved by Sydney Water to ensure customer service is not compromised and the environment is protected.

“We acknowledge the inconvenience this has caused residents and are working with Penrith Council to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Council and Sydney Water are working to repair a sinkhole in Leonay. Photo: Melinda Jane.
Makayla Muscat

Formerly with the ABC, Makayla is a graduate of Western Sydney University. She covers a variety of news topics for the Weekender, including courts.

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