BRIDGING THE GAP: The new Blakebrooke Bridge became an instant success yesterday after being officially opened by Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.
BRIDGING THE GAP: The new Blakebrooke Bridge became an instant success yesterday after being officially opened by Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell. JAY CRONAN

Making new bridges

BLAKEBROOK residents have bid farewell to one of the many rickety old bridges in the region and welcomed a new, safer version.

Mayor Jenny Dowell opened the $2.1 million Blakebrook Bridge on Nimbin Road yesterday, replacing the original bridge notorious for its constant swaying and instability.

The construction, the biggest project in the area under the Regional Roads Timber Bridge Replacement Program, was funded by the Lismore City Council and the NSW Government.

The 'minimum cost for longest life' strategy upgrades deteriorating timber bridges with sturdy concrete structures that require less maintenance, have a longer life and are safer.

“We have been working with locals and land owners to construct the bridge and the entire community has been very supportive,” Ms Dowell said.

“The project was funded 50/50 by the council and the State Government as part of a larger scheme to upgrade old timber bridges.

“As it is constructed with cement and steel it requires less maintenance and has also created better road alignment by taking curves out of the road.”

The two lane, 60-metre bridge will be mainly used by locals and quarry trucks as the main road connecting Lismore and Nimbin.

The construction took around six months with some delays due to flooding, but now it has a 100-year design life.

Residents have welcomed the new bridge, describing it as 'a long time coming'.

“It has been a real godsend,” previous landowner and resident Jeff Greber said.

“I used to look at the bridge from my place and if a truck went over it you could see it sway back and forth.

“The residents have been more than happy to work with the council,” he said.

So far there have been eight timber replacement projects in the region. The next is at Tuncester.



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