TWO of the region’s rural communities will benefit from improved road access after bridges undergoing repairs are reopened to traffic this week.
The Kia Ora Bridge No. 2 on Rocky Gully Rd, Bendemeer, reopened to traffic yesterday and the Marsden Park Bridge No. 1, on Marsden Park Rd, at Loomberah is expected to be open to traffic by the end of this week.
Tamworth Regional Council’s senior construction engineer Brendan Moran said work started about two weeks ago on the bridge at Bendemeer and about three weeks ago on the Loomberah bridge.
He said each of the bridges had timber decks which had deteriorated and were restricted to a load limit of 12 tonnes.
The deck of the Bendemeer bridge was replaced with precast concrete.
$110,000 was budgeted for the work. Special traffic control arrangements, including a reduced speed limit, will be in place when it reopens to traffic today until the barrier railing is attached later this week.
The work on the Loomberah bridge, budgeted to cost $130,000, has involved strengthening and extending the concrete abutments and replacing the timber deck with precast concrete.
The new concrete deck units were scheduled to be lifted into place on Monday, but due to the rain it as been postponed until yesterday.
It is expected the work will be finishedon Friday.
The Kia Ora Bridge No. 2 and the Marsden Park Bridge No. 1 are among a number of bridges identified for improvement works in the Tamworth Regional Council timber bridge management strategy.
The strategy, adopted by council in February last year, aims to reduce the impact the deteriorating condition of
timber bridges is having on the community.
It includes replacement of 10 bridges and repair work to another three.
Bridge replacements will be funded by a $3.68 million loan under the state government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme while $320,000 in repairs will be funded from council reserves.
The two bridges are the first works identified under the
timber bridge management strategy to be completed.