The huge hole left in Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah, when floodwaters washed out a culvert was finally bridged yesterday with the laying of massive concrete girders for a new road crossing.
The huge hole left in Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah, when floodwaters washed out a culvert was finally bridged yesterday with the laying of massive concrete girders for a new road crossing. Jay Cronan

Oliver Ave bridge being repaired

IT TAKES a great deal of skill and care to lower 26 reinforced concrete girders – each 20 metres long and weighing 23 tonnes – into place 10 metres above the ground.

Yet for the man in charge of repairing the flood-damaged Oliver Avenue in Goonellabah it was an immense relief to know that traffic will soon again use the busy thoroughfare.

“Today’s quite a milestone,” Lismore City Council’s infrastructure services executive director Garry Hemsworth said. “Finally the bridge girders are going on and by this afternoon it will be possible to walk from one side to the other.”

The section of the once busy road over Tucki Creek washed away during the May floods when the corrugated iron culvert collapsed under the force of storm water.

Yesterday, as locals gathered to watch, the two sides of Oliver Avenue were once again joined.

With the $1.3 million repairs on schedule to be completed by mid-February, the only two questions rem-aining are: Is it a ‘bridge’ or a ‘culvert’; and if it’s a bridge what should it be called?

A spokesperson said the council had been concentrating on getting the road reopened and hadn’t yet considered whether it would be classified as a bridge, let alone think about a name.

One possibility is to name it in honour of the councilengineer, Allen Newton, who noticed a small section of guttering had fallen away and was on the phone alerting authorities of the potential danger as the road collapsed before his eyes.

Once the girders aresecured and the road tarred, the bridge will be re-opened while final touches are completed.

The creek, which is now full of silt from the flood, also will be cleaned and vegetation planted on its banks.



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