Council’s timber restoration works on Brunswick Heads’ South Arm Bridge, which were due to start in September, have been postponed after significant numbers of nesting Swallows were discovered under the bridge structure which is a protected habitat zone in the Cape Byron Marine Park.
The works, which will take around 3 months to complete, will instead get started in February 2020. They are being funded by $607,530 from Round Four of the Australian Government’s Bridge Renewal Program and matching funding from Council, bringing the total investment in the bridge restoration to over $1.2 million.
“We discovered around 40 Welcome Swallow nests during the pre-commencement fauna inspection that Council undertakes before all major engineering projects as part of its environmental assessment process,” Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway said.
“Some of the nests contain eggs and baby chicks and while the Welcome Swallow is not a threatened or endangered species, they are protected under NSW legislation and moving or relocating the nests would result in harm to the birds.”
“For all of these reasons, we have decided to postpone the works until February next year, when the swallows won’t be nesting and once the peak school holiday period is over.
“We will be putting extra measures in place to manage the structural safety of the bridge during this time including additional monitoring of the current 10 tonne limit and additional enforcement by authorities,” he said.
Council will receive $607,530 under Round Four of the Australian Government’s Bridge Renewal Program towards the major upgrade works. Council will match the funding provided by the Australian Government grant bringing the total investment in the project for South Arm Bridge to $1.2 million.