Work will hold back the water

HALF a million dollars will be spent upgrading Stoney Creek causeway to ensure another tragic drowning doesn't happen.

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 installing a barrier, removing hazards, widening the culverts, improving the floodgate and installing electronic automatic signage at each end.

The technology can send SMS messages to the 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 for February.

"But we are not stopping there," Londonderry MP Bart Bassett told State Parliament last week.

"We are working to ensure that there is a bypass for the causeway in the future."

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

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."

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