Site establishment works have commenced for the construction of the Bega Valley’s new Murrabrine Bridge on Wandella Road at Cobargo, with major works set to begin in mid-August.
Bega Valley Shire Council awarded contractors Kenpass Pty Ltd the formal construction contract in May. Council says Bega Valley consultants, including Marshman Engineers and VERIS surveyors and local suppliers, accommodation and subcontractors will be used throughout the project wherever practicable.
Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said the new bridge would be a positive addition for the community, with the existing bridge fast approaching the end of its practical asset life and replacement essential for public safety and amenity.
“The bridge is located on a vital service and emergency access route. Wandella Road provides the only practical road link from Cobargo and the Princes Highway to the public school, fire shed, homes and properties. It’s also an important access way for the primary producers of Wandella and Yowrie,” he said.
Mayor Fitzpatrick said Council had undertaken a range of structural and heritage assessments and remedial works across the lifetime of the bridge, however recent routine inspections and testing identified several timber girders and the pedestrian footway require renewal to maintain the existing bridge capacity.
“I’m pleased to say the new bridge will retain hallmarks of the historic structure through careful detailing of the railings, street furniture and light fittings to the pedestrian/cycle way on the east side. Soft landscaping and street furniture adjacent to the bridge will also enhance and soften the appearance,” he said.
“Other improvements include an enhanced intersection design to the Princes Highway, improvements to Wandella Road, drainage and environmental improvements.
“The outcome will be a structure with a single concrete pier in the creek bed; a vast improvement over the existing three rusting steel stanchions on the exiting bridge.
“The intersection will be safer with better sight lines, less risk of accidents and adaptation for traffic lights should they be required in future.”
He said informal information sessions were conducted in September last year in Cobargo and Quaama for residents and the business community where drawings, artists impressions and draft project timelines were shared.
“We’re keen for the community to continue to be involved and there will be more opportunities to have input to post construction landscaping and planting.”
Throughout the works at least one lane for through traffic will be open at all times.
The construction of the new Murrabrine Bridge is being funded by a combination of Federal and State government.