Collapsed bridge and $2M road damage after storms
IF YOU'VE noticed a lot of damaged roads and bridges since last week's heavy rainfall, Kyogle and Richmond Valley Councils have too.
Keith Parker took a photo of the collapsed Alcorns Bridge on Ferndale Rd near Wiangaree after the heavy rain in the area,
Kyogle Council general manager Graham Kennett said the Alcorns Bridge was damaged by a Council truck late last year.
"The assessment of the cost to repair the existing timber structure resulted in a recommendation to the council for the full replacement of the bridge with a new concrete and steel structure, as this was considered by staff to be a more cost effective outcome over the long term," Mr Kennett said.
The council has placed funding in the current years budget for the pre-construction activities to ensure this bridge replacement is ready to commence as early as possible in the 2020/21 financial year, he said.
Construction is expected to start e in August.
"In the meantime residents have an alternate route, however this will mean some extra travel time and inconvenience for some residents until the construction of the new bridge is completed," Mr Kennett said.
Meanwhile Richmond Valley Council is assessing widespread damage to its road network following last week's storms, with an estimated $2 million in damage.
Sustained rainfall due to the impacts of ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi on February 12 and 13 saw more than 150mm of rain over a 48-hour period in some areas, causing damaging flash floods across parts of the region.
General manager Vaughan Macdonald said the council was in the early process of documenting this damage in order to apply for disaster assistance from the NSW Government.
"The damage is quite severe in some areas, particularly on the unsealed road network, which is 530km long," Mr Macdonald said.
"Council has three road inspection crews working full-time to document the impacts of the storms and prioritise repairs.
"The inspection process could take up to three months to complete, so we are asking for the community's patience."
Mr Macdonald said it was vital that the Richmond Valley was declared a natural disaster zone so state government funding could be made available to repair the road network.
"More than 50 local government areas in NSW have been declared natural disaster zones following this month's storms," he said.
"While the Richmond Valley local government area has not yet been formally declared, our neighbours in Lismore and the Clarence Valley have, and we are optimistic that we will be as well.
"It requires significant evidence and documentation and Council is unable to start remediation work until that confirmation from the NSW Government."
The council will continue to identify urgent safety issues on the road network and make repairs as soon as possible.