PAVING the way for urgent remediation of Rawdon Island bridge will go before tonight's (July 21) ordinary meeting of council.
Major structural issues have been identified on the Rawdon Island Bridge that are considered a high risk of bridge collapse under vehicle loading or lateral loads such as braking or flood debris impact.
The bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic while further investigations and assessments are undertaken to determine the most appropriate path forward.
The closure which came into effect on July 5, impacts 50 households. The bridge, spanning the Hastings River, provides the only road access to Rawdon Island.
Only emergency vehicles and foot traffic is permitted access under strict traffic control.
Following underwater inspections, which Port Macquarie-Hastings Council commissioned after the March floods, severe damage in the pile foundations has been identified above seabed level at a number of locations.
Council has been working closely with Rawdon Island residents to ensure their needs are met during this time. A number of immediate measures have been put in place.
The report to council has investigated the initial estimated of costs associated with rectification of this structure. They include:
- Further immediate costs associated with bridge closure, traffic management, bridge monitoring, investigations and design, and community support may range from $300,000 to $500,000.
- Alternate access (if required) including barges, or temporary crossings for alternate routes may be in the order of $3.0 million.
- Options for repairs and rectification of the existing structure range from $3.0 million to $6.0 million.
- Full replacement and demolition of the existing bridge may be in the order of $25.0 million to $30 million.
These estimates are preliminary order of magnitude estimates based on construction knowledge, previous works and initial enquiries and will change following more detailed investigations and design updates, the report says.
The council is recommending the Chief Executive Officer undertake investigations and assessments to determine the most appropriate path forward.
Also before the council will be the draft beach driving and dogs in public open spaces policies.
Council received a significant number of responses in relation to both draft policies during the public exhibition period. A common theme expressed across both current policies was the perceived lack of compliance and enforcement.
It is recommended the beach driving policy be adopted, however the draft dogs in public open spaces policy, particularly around the issue of dogs on Washhouse Beach, is expected to be formally postponed to the October council meeting after further consultation.
Further review of the Port Macquarie Aquatic Centre design is also expected after overwhelming community feedback.
The project has been a long-standing item for council and on completion will address several challenges including ageing infrastructure issues at the current pool. It will also meet future health and recreational requirements of the community which is expected to grow to 100,000 residents by 2030.
Macquarie Park in Gordon Street is the preferred site for a new aquatic centre.
The aquatic centre features a 10 lane, 50 metre outdoor heated pool, a 20 metre indoor heated program pool (with a movable floor), facilities for the swimming club, a waterslide and recreation zones, a gym and café.
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