Restoring access - Northern bridges

Many communities were isolated after the summer bushfires damaged and destroyed timber bridges across the Eurobodalla.

Our initial priority was to restore access and it was all hands on deck to undertake temporary repairs and build side tracks where we could.

Major flooding events since the fires have added to the challenges, damaging remaining bridges and washing away side tracks.

We are now focusing on permanent solutions and have worked with Transport for NSW to determine appropriate rebuilding materials.

Where possible, bridges will be replaced with more resilient structures to help maintain permanent access. Many bridges have been rebuilt using the InQuik Bridging Systems. The semi-modular steel, aluminum and concrete bridging systems reduce project cost and complexity and are relatively quick to install.

Given the scale of the damage, we have relied on financial assistance from the NSW and Federal  governments to get the job done. It's a massive undertaking and we're making solid headway.

Check out the progress so far.

Location: Araluen Road, Deua River Valley

Current status: Open to traffic

The damage: Parts of the abutment were washed away in the July and August 2020 flood

The work: Barriers and a reduced load limit helped keep the road open until work the bridge was replaced using the InQuik Bridging System in late 2020 and early 2021

A tall timber bridge straddles a green gully
Pre-fire: The tall timber bridge sat high above the creek

A drone photo shows damage caused to the abutments on one sides of the bridge
July 2020: The flood waters destroyed the bridge abutments

Barriers are placed along the bridge
August 2020: Barriers keep commuters away from the damaged side

An excavator lifts a large timber bearer from the bridge
November 2020: The road is closed and demolition begins

A large refabricated bridge abutment is prepped for unloading off a delivery truck
November 2020: One of the prefabricated abutments arrives on site

A crane lowers a section of new bridge deck into place
January 2021: A section off the new bridge deck is lowered into place

Gabion baskets are stacked either side of a bridge under construction
February 2021: The new concrete deck is in position

Guardrail lines the edges of a new bridge and road surface.
April 2021: The rebuild was complete in March and the bridge approaches finalised in April

Location: Araluen Road, Deua River Valley

Current status: Open

The damage: Some structural timbers burnt

The work: Add steel supports as a temporary measure to open the bridge

The plan: The major landslips on Araluen Road are impacting access to the site but we hope to rebuild the bridge using the InQuik Bridging System in early 2022.

The timber bridge sits high above the creek
Pre-fire: The long tall timber bridge has a lot of charm

The upright structural timbers of the bridge are burnt
January 2020: The fire destroyed many structural timbers and a side track was established

A large steel beam is bolted to the underside of a timber bridge
February 2020: Steel beams were bolted on to provide additional strength and open the bridge

Location: Araluen Road, Deua River Valley

Current status: Open

The damage: The deck and some structural timbers were burnt

The work: Our crew removed and replaced the burnt deck timbers to restore access

The plan: The major landslips on Araluen Road are impacting access to the site but we hope to rebuild the bridge using the InQuik Bridging System in early 2022

The timber bridge sits in a green setting
Pre-fire: The timber bridge in a lush forest

The edges of the deck timbers are burnt
January 2020: The deck timbers were burnt in the bushfireCouncil workers replacing the bridge timbers
January 2020: Our bridge crew removed and replaced the burnt deck timbers

Location: Araluen Road, Merricumbene

Current status: Permanent access restored

The damage: Completely destroyed

The work: A temporary side track was built and then the bridge was replaced with concrete box culverts in the first half of 2020

The timber bridge sits high above the creek in a lush setting
Pre-fire: The timber bridge nestled into the bushland

A deep hole is all that is left after the fire passed through
January 2020: A devastating site

A side track winds around the burnt out bridge
March 2020: A temporary side track provides access while earthworks are underway for the permanent solution

Huge concrete box culverts sit next to the temporary side track
April 2020: The concrete structure is in place

The road has been rebuilt over the box culverts
May 2020: A huge amount of earth has been moved into position

A fresh dirt road runs over a gully
May 2020: The bridge was opened on 14 May

Location: Old Bolaro Road, Buckenbowra

Current status: Impassable

The damage: Completely destroyed

The plan: Replace with a steel structure in late 2021

Fire left a gaping hole in the road
January 2020: The fire left nothing of the old bridge

Location: Old Tomakin Road, Mogo

Current status: Permanently restored

The damage: Completely destroyed

The work: A temporary crossing was built but washed away by flood waters. The bridge was then replaced with concrete box culverts in August and September 2020

The low timber bridge sits above a creek surrounded by greenery
Pre-fire: The single span bridge straddled a creek

A large hole and few charred remains are what the fire left behind
January 2020: A completely different scene

The temporary crossing has been washed away
February 2020: Flood waters washed a temporary crossing away

Workmen stand in a gaping hole in the road
July 2020: The site is prepped for the bridge replacement

Flood waters flow through newly placed concrete box culverts
August 2020: Flood waters race through newly placed box culverts

A concrete culvert sits in the creek providing a crossing for vehicles above.
September 2020: The new culvert is finished and access restored on 21 September

Location: Saltwater Creek, Rosedale

Current status: Permanently restored

The damage: Many of the bridge timbers were burnt

The work: The bridge was rebuilt using timber structural components and steel decking and handrail in mid 2020

A footbridge stretches above the water through the forest
Pre-fire: The bridge typically sat in a lush bushy setting

Deck timbers on the footbridge have been burnt and a sign warns the bridge is closed
January 2020: Most of the deck timbers were burnt

The bridge has been demolished leaving behind a couple of posts in the creek
June 2020: The footbridge has been demolished and the rebuild is about to begin

New piers stand in the creek and some beams are in place
June 2020: The rebuild has begun! The piers are in place and we've started on the beams.

A new steel footbridge crosses a creek
July 2020: The new footbridge reconnected north and south Rosedale on 15 July

Other areas

More info

For more information about the bridge recovery project, please contact our Project Engineer for fire-damaged bridges, Lew Oldfield: