Council slashes timber bridge inventory

Kyogle Council has halved its ageing timber bridge inventory in less than 15 years and is on track to replace all its timber bridges by 2044.

In 2004, Council had 304 timber bridges, most of which were built in the 1940s and were reaching the end of their natural life.

Following the completion last week of another two new bridges – one on Afterlee Road and one on Williams Road – Council has just 148 timber bridges left to replace.

The incredible turn-around comes on the back of a detailed bridge management strategy adopted by Council and the development in 2014 of a Long Term Financial Plan in which Council aims to replace all its timber bridges in 30 years.

Council is currently on track to meet its zero timber bridge target by 2044 thanks to an ambitious bridge construction program and the replacement of many smaller bridges with concrete pipe culverts.

“Council has adopted an aggressive, multi-faceted approach to sourcing funding and delivering real outcomes for the community,” Kyogle Council Mayor Danielle Mulholland said.

“To that end, we could not have achieved the funding success we’ve had without the support of Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, who has argued our case in Canberra, and State Member for Lismore Thomas George who has lobbied Macquarie Street for us.

“Council now has only 148 bridges left to go and we’ll continue to pursue the funding necessary to continuously improve the infrastructure across the whole of the local government area.”

The two new bridges on Afterlee and Williams Road are dual lane steel truss bridges.

“The completion of these two bridges represent a significant milestone in Council’s overall bridge replacement strategy,” Council’s General Manager Graham Kennett said.

“Halving the number of timber bridges in a 15-year time frame should be seen as a major achievement and also provides confidence that the remaining program can be delivered on schedule.”