After a false start last September (due to the discovery of dozens of nesting swallows), Council’s heritage-sensitive timber upgrade of the Brunswick Heads South Arm Bridge will get underway in the first week of February.
The timber restoration works are expected to take around 15 weeks to complete and will include replacement of a significant number of load bearing components such as log girders and piles, as well as removal and replacement of old, decaying timbers with new or repurposed timbers from previously dismantled bridges in Bangalow.
“This is an iconic bridge and a major thoroughfare requiring extensive structural upgrades and we are very pleased we can now get on with the job of increasing the structural integrity and safety of this bridge for the long term – for the benefit of our local communities for many decades to come,” Byron Shire Council’s Mayor, Simon Richardson said.
“Council understands the importance of retaining the heritage features of this bridge and has worked with consulting designers and engineers to retain the old-timber heritage look and feel of this historic bridge as much as possible, while extending its service life for the next 50 years,” Mayor Richardson said.
Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway, said the first stage of works would involve closure of the northern side of the bridge for six to eight weeks.
“We are working on the bridge in two stages, one side at a time, so that single lane traffic flow is available to the community throughout the project.
“This is also necessary to allow for emergency services access and other essential services including waste collection on South Beach Road,” Mr Holloway said.
“Over the first stage of works, we will be fencing a section of the car park opposite the Hotel Brunswick for storage of materials required for the project and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” he said.
During the second stage of works, closure of the southern side of the bridge will block access to the pedestrian walkway and people will be asked to use the footbridge (near the Terrace Reserve Holiday Park) to cross Simpsons Creek on foot or bicycle.
“The second stage of works are expected to take around six weeks to complete and we are aiming to have the whole job finished by late April to early May, weather permitting,” Mr Holloway said.
The works have been made possible thanks to $607,530 received under Round Four of the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program. Council has matched the funding provided by the Australian Government grant bringing total investment in the Brunswick Heads bridge refurbishment to over $1.2 million.