157 bridges fixed in the Kyogle area... just 164 left to go
KYOGLE Council has reached the half way milestone for their bridge renewal program with the opening of six new bridges on along Gradys Creek and Lions Road.
Back in 2000, Kyogle Council identified 320 timber bridges that needed to be replaced in the local government area.
General Manager Graham Kennett said in their last count there was about 162 remaining, which he estimated will take another 15 to 20 years to complete.
It was all smiles and pats on the back at the official opening of the Gradys Creek and Lions Roads Bridge Renewal Program yesterday, when Page MP Kevin Hogan and Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland shared the honour of declaring open the six new bridges built as part of the $6.8 million project.
Funded to the tune of $1.9 million by the Federal Government's Bridges Renewal Program, the project saw Council's bridge crews build five new composite fibre bridges on Gradys Creek Road and one new steel truss bridge on Lions Road.
Mr Hogan said this was great news for the community.
"Kyogle and Districts have one of the highest number of wooden bridges in the state and many are in disrepair and dangerous," Mr Hogan said.
"The local council does not have the resources to replace these ageing bridges on its own. That is why I am happy that the Federal Government has provided assistance under our Bridges Renewal Programme."
"In all, about 20 bridges around Kyogle are being replaced or have now been replaced, at a total cost of $10 million.
All six new bridges are dual lane structures and are higher than the old, single-lane timber bridges they replaced, giving increased flood immunity to local residents, businesses and travellers alike.
The construction of the new bridges also has meant that all previous load limits have been lifted, improving safety for motorists and providing greater certainty to local farmers and business operators in the Gradys Creek area.
Cr Mulholland said this was the biggest bridge renewal project undertaken by Council since it replaced nine bridges on the Clarence Way in 2008 and 2009.
"It has been ongoing since January 2017 and has provided significant challenges for local residents, businesses and the Council," Cr Mulholland said.
"I think it is fair to say that when the final bridge was completed and the road re-opened to all through traffic on 6 April this year, Council, residents and motorists alike were relieved and delighted."
Cr Mulholland praised council staff for their hard work and commitment to the project.
"The weather was not particularly kind to us, particularly at the start of the project, then there was the flood which made life even harder for everyone," she said.
"Staff worked long hours over many months, often in very trying conditions, to get all six bridges finished and restore access to residents as soon as they possibly could. Their efforts are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed."
All bridges have been named in recognition of a number of local families and individuals associated with the area and the Lions Road.
- Trihey Bridge
- Herd Bridge
- Davies Bridge
- Murray Bridge
- Jack Hurley Bridge
- McIntosh Bridge