Three of East Gippsland Shire Council’s six planned timber bridge replacements for 2019/20 will be completed before the end of November.
Mayor Cr John White said the program for the current financial year was on track and includes new bridges in Mount Taylor, Johnsonville, Omeo, Timbarra and Brodribb.
“The investment in bridge replacement is substantial, but is taken with a long-term view to infrastructure improvement and accessibility. A major benefit of these concrete bridges is that they also assist in mitigating access risk for residents and emergency services personnel in times of emergency events such as bushfire,” Cr White said.
“These new concrete bridges have a 100-year design life and need considerably less maintenance than their falling timber predecessors.
“As a result, savings are made in the bridge maintenance budget and Council uses those savings to complete identify other timber bridges where these is a need for replacement, and complete the design and replacement work.
“Over recent years we have put a concerted effort into replacing timber bridges. By the end of this financial year we will have reduced the number of timber bridges from 138 to just 42 in about seven years,” Cr White said.
2019/20 timber bridge replacement projects:
Pages Road, Johnsonville: $219,440, completed October 2019.
Tices Road, Omeo: $239,685, completed October 2019.
Boyds Road, Mount Taylor: $285,840, January 2020 expected completion.
Harmans Road, Johnsonville: $325,362, in progress with expected completion November 2019.
Timbarra Bridge $1.357 million (funded on a 50:50 basis with the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program), under construction with expected competition February 2020.
Sandy Flat Road, Brodribb: $1.09 million, contracted awarded October 2019.
Council awarded a contract for the replacement of Sandy Flat Road Bridge at Brobribb at its meeting this week. The item had been deferred from the August meeting to investigate all access options.
“The new bridge will meet all standards, have a 100-year design life, a 68-tonne load limit and will allow for B-double use,” Cr Whire said.
“The longer asset life makes this design the most cost-effective option due to a lower annual cost. The contract was awarded to Tambo Constructions for $1,090,450, with the project expected to take 16-26 weeks to complete. The project will be fully funded by the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery program.”
Projects outside the replacement program this financial year also include upgrades of the rail bridge at Bruthen and the pedestrian bridge at Buchan.
Local companies have been awarded the contracts on all bridges under construction.