Monday, June 17, 2024

Kempsey bridge rebuild rolls on

Kempsey Shire Council has set an ambitious target to replace 56 timber bridges across the Macleay Valley over the next few years.

Seven bridges have so far been completed, all with concrete culverts to allow for improved access and durability to flood or fire damage.

The bridges replaced so far are:

  • Barking Dog bridge on Mooneba Road, Mooneba
  • Taits Grid bridge on Willi Willi Road, Moparrabah
  • Toms Gully bridge on Toms Gully Road, Hickeys Creek
  • Thackhan bridge on Wharf Road, Kundabung
  • Brentons Dam bridge on Collombatti Road, Collombatti
  • Duck Creek bridge on Smiths Creek Road, Kundabung
  • Scotts bridge on Mungay Creek Road, Mungay Creek

Kempsey Shire Council Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Dylan Reeves said the replacement of two more timber bridges in the Upper Macleay was about to begin.

“Bridge crews will soon start working upriver on McKenzies Bridge on Toose Road and White Hawk bridge on Temagog Road,” said Mr Reeves.

Crews are preparing to commence replacing more timber bridges during this financial year with bridges around Belmore River next in line to receive some attention, he said.

“There is around $9.5 million allocated to the timber bridges replacement project in 2022-23 with planning gearing up for the replacement of the Lower Macleay’s Robinsons, Frogmore and Scotts bridges.”

“It’s really pleasing to see this project being rolled out as many timber bridges being replaced are showing signs of ageing and weathering from flooding. The improved concrete structures will be more reliable and much safer.”

Once replaced, the bridges will allow for heavy truck loads, improved access and safety for farmers, industry and locals, more resistance to damage from fire and floods and reduce the annual maintenance costs for Council, said Mr Reeves.

In 2021, Council secured more than $16 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program to replace the 56 timber bridges. Council is also contributing around 10% of costs from its general fund to the project.

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