Restoring access - Eurobodalla Valley bridges

The Eurobodalla Valley was isolated after the 2019 New Year's Eve bushfires destroyed four timber bridges and damaged another four. Our teams were soon out on Eurobodalla Road and on to Cadgee and Nerrigundah assessing the damage and restoring access.

Three of the bridges simply required repairs to the timber decks to get vehicles crossing safely again. Others took a lot more work. Our crews worked quickly to create temporary side tracks around the destroyed bridges. We have now rebuilt most of the bridges with permanent, fire and flood resilient concrete structures. It's been a big job and we are nearly done.

Transport for NSW agreed to replace many of the bridges using more resilient InQuik Bridging Systems. The semi-modular steel and concrete bridging systems reduce project cost and complexity and are relatively quick to install.

Check out the progress so far.

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Some deck timbers burnt

The work: Our bridge crew removed and replaced the burnt timbers to enable safe passage. The bridge was then replaced using the InQuik Bridging System during July to September 2020.

A low single span timber bridge crosses over a creek.
Pre-fire: The single span bridge before the fire

The bridge deck timbers are burnt
January 2020: The deck timbers were burnt in the bushfire on New Year's Eve

The bridge crew work to repair the damaged bridge
January 2020: Repair work was soon underway

New deck timbers are on the timber bridge
January 2020: Safe access restored

Geotech fabric lines the edge of the creek while a roller compacts road base on the approach for the new bridge
July 2020: Work begins on the approach for the new bridge

A drone photo shows a new bridge under construction alongside the sold timber bridge
August 2020: The InQuik bridge components have been craned into place

A new aluminium and concrete bridge sits higher than the old bridge
August 2020: The concrete's poured forming the new bridge surface

A concrete bridge is lined with guardrail
October 2020: The new bridge was opened to traffic on 6 October

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Completely destroyed

The work: A side track was created until the bridge was replaced using the InQuik Bridging System during November to February

The timber bridge sits in a green setting
Pre-fire: The timber bridge was surrounded by foliage

All the bridge timbers are burnt and have collapsed
January 2020: The fire totally destroyed the bridge leaving a gaping hole in the road

Flood waters wash away the temporary track across the creek
February 2020: Flood waters destroyed a temporary crossing built in January

a piped culvert sits in the creek with a road above
March 2020: A more substantial side track provides access until the bridge is replaced

A tractor restores the material forming a creek crossing
July 2020: The crossing copped a battering from flood waters but was soon restored

Railing is in place alongside the steel mesh that will provide strength for the concrete deck
November 2020: Construction of the new bridge is underway with the abutments in place and formwork prepped for the deck

A new bridge with guardrail is positioned on a winding dirt road
January 2021: The new bridge is open to traffic

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Completely destroyed

The work: A side track was created until the bridge was replaced using the InQuik Bridging System during November to February

The timber bridge sits in a green setting
Pre-fire: The timber bridge nestled into the bushland

The bridge is completely burnt leaving a gapping hole in the road.
January 2020: A devastating site

A temporary track to the side of the destroyed bridge provides access across the creek
March 2020: A temporary side track provides access

A section of bridge deck is lowered into place
November 2020: Construction of the new bridge is underway and a section of the new deck is lowered into place

Guard rail lines both sides of a bridge on a straight dirt road
February 2021:
The new bridge is open!

Current status: Impassable

The damage: The majority of the bridge was destroyed

The plan: Replace with a more resilient concrete bridge in late 2021. We have ordered the parts and are waiting for quotes for construction of the new five span, 68m long bridge. The Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements will fund the rebuild.

The long timber bridge crosses the Tuross River in a lush setting
Pre-fire: The fire the bridge sat solidly above the Tuross River

The bridge is severely burnt and not much remains
January 2020: Not much was left of the bridge, but at least the lack of rain allowed vehicles to pass

Large pipes and sand lay along the river bed providing temporary access.
Late-January 2020: A side track was strengthened with large steel pipes and gravel so vehicles could pass through

The side track has been washed away after the river flooded
March 2020: Heavy rain and flood waters in February washed away the temporary track

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Partly destroyed

The work: The bridge was replaced the using an InQuik Bridging System in July and August 2020

The timber bridge sits in a green setting
Pre-fire: The single span bridge in lush farmland

The timber bridge has relatively small burnt areas
January 2020: The damage was relatively minor in comparison to the other bridges

A dirt road with a timber bridge winds through green farmland
May 2020: The repaired bridge leads commuters into the green farmland beyond

Three steel piles stand tall at the end of the bridge
July 2020: Construction of the new bridge is underway

A drone photo shows construction on both sides of the creek
August 2020: The new abutments are in place either side of the creek

A crane lifts a section of bridge
August 2020: The new InQuik bridge components are craned into position

Men tie reinforcing steel in the aluminium bridge
August 2020: Steel reinforcing mesh is prepped for the concrete pour

Freshly poured concrete forms the new bridge surface
August 2020: Concrete provides a finished surface for the new bridge

Guardrail aligns a new bridge on a dirt road.
August 2020: The new bridge is finished and opened to traffic on 28 August

A single span bridge crosses a creek amid green paddocks
October 2020: Warm Spring weather has enabled the grass to take hold

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Most of the deck timbers were burnt

The work: Removed and replaced the kerb logs and deck timbers until the bridge was replaced using the InQuik Bridging System in late 2020

Gulph Creek Bridge is surrounded by lush green vegetation
Pre-fire: The bridge typically sat in a lush bushy setting

The timber bridge is largely burnt along each side
January 2020: Most of the deck timbers were burnt

The burnt deck timbers are being removed
January 2020: Our bridge crew was quick to replace the burnt supporting girders and deck timbers

The repaired bridge sits in in a burnt out setting
Mid-January 2020: The bridge looks new albeit in an altered setting

A mobile crane lowers a steel bridge abutment into place.
August 2020: The old bridge has been demolished and the new abutments are in place

Two men inspect the steel reo mesh supported by aluminum abutments
October 2020: Reinforcement for the concrete deck is prepared

A concrete boom pumps concrete into place to form the new bridge deck
October 2020: A boom pumps concrete into the bridge formwork

Road signs and guard rail guide motorists across a concrete bridge.
November 2020: The bridge was open to traffic in November 2020

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Completely destroyed

The work: A side track was created until the bridge was replaced with box culverts

The timber bridge sits in a green setting
Pre-fire: The single span timber bridge originally sat in a lush setting

The low bridge is completely burnt
January 2020: Fire destroyed the entire timber deck and a side track was established

Flood waters cover the burnt remains of the bridge
Early-February 2020: Rising flood waters blocked access

Pipes and sandbags help form a temporary track over muddy waters
Mid-February 2020: A more durable side track was constructed after the flood

Concrete is being poured from a truck into a hole prepared by an excavator
May 2020: Work to build the box culverts is underway and a concrete base is being formed

Loosely laid gravel forms rough road over concrete culverts
June 2020: The side track has been removed, the culverts are in place and it's time to work on the road surface

Three concrete box culverts support the gravel road above
June 2020: Box culverts support the gravel road and access is restored on 29 June

Current status: Open

The damage: Some deck timbers and structural timbers were burnt

The work: Our engineers assessed the damage and the burnt deck timbers were replaced.

The plan: Monitor the bridge regularly

The timber bridge bearer is burnt
January 2020: Fortunately the bridge survived the fire

Other areas

More info

For more information about restoring access, please contact our Project Engineer for fire-damaged bridges, Lew Oldfield: