The historic Kindee Bridge and three other timber bridges in Upper Rollands Plains will be rehabilitated or replaced in the next six to 12 months.
The three are Myhills Bridge over the Wilson River in Upper Rollands Plains, Thompsons Bridge and Ready Money Bridge, both on the Upper Rollands Plains Road.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council currently manages 130 bridges across the region, of which 72 are timber.
Director Jeffrey Sharp says that in partnership with other levels of government through funding opportunities like the Bridges Renewal Program, the council has replaced five key timber bridges in the last three years, with many others receiving ongoing maintenance and repair as part of the rolling bridge maintenance program.
He says the council is committed to continuing to work with all levels of government on funding opportunities to upgrade and maintain our extensive bridge network.
The bridge assets are ranked based a combination of condition status and overall importance within the road network, considering factors such as traffic volumes, percentage of heavy vehicles, road importance and hierarchy, bridge structure age, impacts of closure on the community including detour routes, road surface, heritage status, and bus routes or emergency vehicle access requirements.
The timber bridges are managed using a combination of regular inspections to identify defects and maintenance actions, and an experienced timber bridge team completing on-going repairs.
A rolling maintenance works schedule is established considering a variety of minor to major works including deck plank replacement, full re-decking, timber girder replacement, through to full renewal with a new timber bridge, or a concrete structure if warranted.
Timber bridges are able to be easily maintained as individual elements are able to be removed and replaced as warranted by condition, and provide over 50 years of design life with on-going maintenance before renewal is required.
The Bridge Renewal Program and other State funding programs such as Fixing Country Roads and Regional Roads Repair has helped to fund the replacement and upgrade of five key timber bridges on Comboyne Road and in Kendall in the last three years.
These include Hyndmans Creek bridge, Bulli Creek Bridge, Harty’s Creek Bridge, Albert Street Bridge and O’Neill’s Bridge on Batar Creek Road. The council says this has significantly improved community connectivity along with agricultural and tourist benefits.
Bridges that have been replaced with concrete bridges in the last five years includes:
- Stingray Creek Bridge on Ocean Drive
- Harty’s Creek Bridge on Comboyne Road
- Hyndman’s Creek Bridge on Comboyne Road
- Bulli Creek Bridge on Comboyne Road
- O’Neills Bridge on Batar Creek Road
- Albert Street Bridge on Albert Street, Kew
In the last five years, timber bridges have been managed and maintained including:
- Seven full timber bridge renewals including full re construction and replacement with a new timber structure
- 10 timber bridges have had major rehabilitation including major replacement of key elements
- Multiple bridges with timber decking replacement, kerbing and abutment repairs
- Ongoing maintenance including debris removal and repairs following flood events.