Bridge funding reallocated

Article image - Bridge funding reallocated Recently refurbished Crawford’s Bridge, Congewai

As a result of recent bridge assessments and identified risks, Cessnock City Council has reallocated funds in the 2014/15 Operational Plan to undertake works on five newly listed bridges in the 2014/15 Bridge Construction Program.

Council is actively investigating procurement options and designs for the refurbishment or replacement of these five bridges before the end of this financial year.

Director of Works and Infrastructure, Justin Fitzpatrick-Barr, says council is responsible for 74 vehicular bridges and 59 major culverts across the local government area.

“43 of the vehicular bridges are timber, many of which are nearing the end of their useful lives.

“As part of an asset risk assessment strategy, we coordinate an ongoing bridge inspection program in order to determine the need for major repairs and/or replacement.”

The most recent round of inspections identified a number of bridges in need of full structural repair and/or replacement due to their age and condition.

“We are aware of significant economic and social impacts as a result of load limits and other measures, and we are working toward solutions to limit the impact on our residents and road users wherever possible.”

Inspections of a further 14 timber bridges is expected to be undertaken within the next three months.

In developing the 2015/16 budgets, council will be considering a number of funding options to support the Bridge Construction Program. Wherever possible, council will continue to seek external funding to further assist this program.