Cleaning up the river bed.

A heavy-lift helicopter has been winching abandoned cars from along the Cotter River in Canberra’s west as part of a clean up.

The helicopter from Wollongong removed 10 cars which have been dumped in the river bed in recent years.

The vehicles were expected to be submerged when the recently expanded Cotter Dam reaches capacity.

Authorities feared the vehicles could leak toxic chemicals or metals into Canberra’s water supply.

Access to Vanity’s Crossing was closed in February 2012 to prevent further material being dumped in the river.

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