Aging bridges on council's 'to do' list
DESPITE having to contend with the continuing drought and increasing water shortage, Tenterfield Shire Council said they have not forgotten their aging timber bridge infrastructure.
The council said the community can be assured works have been continuing and the council's bridge crews, engineering staff and contractors have been steadily working through this imposing task.
The funding of $2.77 million received earlier in the year from the State Government for bridge works included an amount of $177,000 to assess the safe load limit of a further 40 bridges, in addition to the 15 which were identified as requiring load limits in August 2018. At this stage the council has not load limited any additional bridges.
In addition, the council received $850,000 from the Federal Government's Drought Communities Programme Funding which gives the council a total budget allocation of $3.62 million specifically for works to lift the load limits and test the remaining bridges.
"As the financial year draws to a close, I am pleased to report that our bridge crews have been getting through a power of work and although our engineering staff are also caught up in the water crisis, the council has not dropped the ball on getting our timber bridges fixed and load limits removed", Mayor Peter Petty said.
Works completed during 2018/2019:
- Paddys Flat Road North (unnamed creek) - temporary bridge installed (T44 rated);
- Rocky River Road (McLeods Creek) - 9 new girders, new kerb and 25 per cent new decking (15 T restored to T44);
- Mt Clunie Road (unnamed creek) - new decking (T44 rated);
- Billirimba Road (Hawkins Gully) - 2 x piles restored (7 T restored to T44);
- Castlerag Road (Deepwater River) - 2 x fibre reinforcements installed (10 T restored to T44);
- Back Creek Road (Tenterfield Creek) - 4 x fibre reinforcements installed (5 T restored to T44);
- Gould Falls Road (Acacia Creek) - 25 per cent new decking (T44 rated);
- Beaury Creek Road (Five Mile Creek) - bridge replaced with a new concrete culvert (T44 rated);
- Hootons Road (Emu Creek) - side track and temporary bridge installed (T44 rated).
Despite the works, bridge users are asked to proceed with caution until assessments have been completed and signage reviewed.
Currently crews are working on the following bridges with works anticipated to be completed in the coming weeks:
- White Swamp Road (Woodenbong Creek) - superstructure replacement and pier reinforcing (9 T will be restored to T44);
- Black Swamp Road (Cataract River) - 5 x fibre reinforcements installed (10 T will be restored to T44);
- Mt Lindesay Road (Boonoo Boonoo River) - install side track and temporary bridge by end July 2019 (10 T will be restored to T44).
"As the imposition of Level 4.5 water restrictions has had an enormous impact on the residents of Tenterfield town, so too has the burden of load restrictions on many bridges acted to create additional hardship for our primary industries and rural land holders, and the council has not forgotten that", Mayor Petty said.