Back Creek Road residents have received a much needed early Christmas present from Kyogle Council — the new Back Creek Road Bridge has been opened to traffic two months ahead of schedule.
The old timber bridge was closed to all traffic in May 2016 after a catastrophic failure meant it was unsafe to use. The closure meant residents, including school students, had to detour around the bridge, in some cases adding about 15km to their trip.
Council originally had planned to start work on the new two-lane modular steel bridge at the beginning of November, however a combination of factors allowed it to bring forward the start date.
Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland said Council was aware of the importance of the bridge to the Bentley community and was thrilled to be able to deliver the finished bridge earlier than expected.
“It’s testament to the hard work and commitment of Council staff that the bridge was finished early, particularly in light of the ambitious works program Council has – we are committed to replacing 24 bridges this financial year,” she said.
“Council had planned to replace 16 bridges originally, but then we had an extra four bridges which were washed away in the March flood added to the program, and another four on Gradys Creek Road carried over from last year.”
The new 8m x 30m long two-lane steel truss Back Creek Road Bridge, replaces a single lane 4m x 27m timber bridge.
It cost $640,000 to build and was jointly funded by Kyogle Council and the Federal Government as part of a $2 million funding commitment made by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon Darren Chester before the last federal election after representations by Mayor Danielle Mulholland through Member for Page Kevin Hogan MP.
Other bridges to be replaced under the $2 million package are a bridge on Ettrick Road, the two Campbells Bridges at Lynches Creek, and the Burt Rayner Bridge at Findon Creek. They will be completed over the next three years.