Byron Shire Council is replacing three bridges and one causeway as part of the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program and the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.
Upper Main Arm Bridge at Upper Main Arm, Sherrington’s Bridge at The Pocket and Englishes Bridge at Upper Coopers Creek are timber bridges that are in poor condition and $1.57 million from the Fixing Country Bridges Program will allow for the replacement of all three.
“With the exception of the refurbished South Arm Bridge at Brunswick Heads, these are the last timber bridges in the Byron Shire,” Council’s Road and Bridge Engineer, Josh Provis, said.
“These bridges have done a good job serving the community over many years but unfortunately time has taken its toll on them and they need to be replaced,” Mr Provis said.
“The new bridges will be reinforced concrete structures and the timber from the old bridges will be recycled into other Council projects where possible, such as foot bridges, playgrounds, and landscaping,” Mr Provis said.
Local Nationals Member of the Legislative Council, Ben Franklin, said this was a huge milestone for Byron Shire Council and the local community.
“The Byron Shire Council has dedicated themselves to improving road safety across our region and it is wonderful that the last remaining timber bridges will now be replaced with modern structures to meet the needs of today’s traffic,” Mr Franklin said.
“I have been regularly banging on the door of my colleague Paul Toole, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, to make this happen and I’m thrilled to announce that within the next two years Englishes Bridge, Upper Main Arm Bridge and Sherringtons Bridge will all be replaced.
“These bridges are key connectivity points for people to get to school, work and to move freight and replacing them will make a big difference to the everyday lives of our community,” Mr Franklin said.
A $400,000 grant from Round Five of the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program will allow Council to replace the Main Arm #2 causeway with a new bridge or box culvert.
The project, which is jointly funded by Council, will include raising the level of the creek crossing and approaches to reduce the impact of flooding and improve safety for road users.
“Planning and design work is already underway and all four projects are expected to be constructed in the 2021/2022 financial year,” Mr Provis said.
“Replacing a bridge is always tricky in terms of access and we will be building temporary accesses alongside the existing bridges, or building the new bridge off line where possible, to ensure access and disruption to locals is as minimal as possible,” he said.