TAMWORTH Regional Council has imposed a weight limit on Recreation Bridge on Limbri-Weabonga Rd, after structural damage was found.
On Monday a fresh split in one of the main girders of the timber bridge was discovered by engineering staff.
Yesterday afternoon another inspection revealed two of the bridge girders were split.
Council’s operations engineer, Jeremy Bartlett, said the split had severely compromised the strength of the girder, and a three-tonne weight limit was necessary until the damage could be fixed.
Mr Bartlett said the council was concerned about the impact the load limit may have on nearby residents.
“Council has written to all landholders to explain the situation, however the potential risk to bridge users as a result of the structural damage meant imposing a load limit was the only responsible action that could be taken,” he said.
The three-tonne limit means vehicles bigger than a large 4WD such as a Toyota LandCruiser can’t use the bridge.
Mr Bartlett said council staff were working towards installing a side track, to allow heavy vehicles to access the area.
“Unfortunately this may take several weeks, because there are significant environmental constraints and approval processes required before work starts,” he said.
“Council is aware the temporary load limit poses significant implications for access to properties between Recreation Bridge and the Shearins Bridge construction site. Until a sidetrack is installed, council is able to allow vehicles exceeding the three-tonne restriction access through the Shearins Bridge construction site via Limbri.”
Mr Bartlett said any residents who needed to use the temporary route through the construction site should call the site supervisor, Greg Thornton, on 0418 621 093 the day before access was required.
“If he is unable to answer at the time of your call, please leave a message with your name, when access is required, and your contact details, so that access can be arranged through the construction site at the time needed,” he said.