Infrastructure resilience work - bridges
Project: Replacing timber bridges with more resilient structures
- $7.1m from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program
- $900,000 from the Australian Government's Bridges Renewal Program
Timeframe: 2021 to 2023
Last updated: October 2023
We are working to: replace eight timber bridges:
- five along Narooma’s Wagonga Scenic Drive
- the Tilba Tilba Creek, Potato Point and Silo Farm bridges.
Benefits to the community:
- The replacements will feature steel and concrete, making them more capable of withstanding natural disasters.
- They will also carry higher loads, improving safety and resilience for our road network.
With recent natural disasters taking such a heavy toll across the Eurobodalla, we are now more than ever determined to increase the resilience of our infrastructure. We are taking a proactive approach with a goal to future-proof our rural road network to help keep communities safe and linked together.
On top off the 18 fire and flood damaged bridge rebuilds we are replacing a further eight timber bridges: five along Narooma’s Wagonga Scenic Drive, and the Tilba Tilba Creek, Potato Point and Silo Farm bridges.
We are using the innovative InQuik modular bridging systems that have featured heavily in the recent rebuilds. Large, prefabricated components are manufactured off-site, substantially reducing construction times. Where possible, we are using regional contractors for the installation work.
Our planning works included assessing the position and alignment of each bridge before construction. We have considered land ownership, local heritage, environmental assessments, ease of access for long vehicles and continued access during construction. Most bridges will be rebuilt alongside the existing ones, meaning the roads will remain open during construction.
To attract the funding for the work, we joined with our colleagues from adjoining shires to develop an innovative memorandum-of-understanding that delivered many bridges across our region. It’s a first for regional NSW, and a model that has since been taken up by other local government partnerships across NSW. We have also secured funding for another bridge replacement under round two of the program. Watch this space for more information.
Check out the details and see where we are up to with each bridge.
Narooma’s Wagonga Scenic Drive winds its way through rural residential areas, agricultural land and state forest. The road is also a popular tourist route providing access to the upper waters of Wagonga Inlet. The road featured five timber bridges, all at risk of fire and flood.
Contractors have now demolished all the old bridges and built the more resilient structures. The new bridges allow for safer and more reliable crossings for residents, tourists, delivery services, emergency services and maintenance staff. The height of each bridge has been increased further reducing the likelihood of residents being trapped in or away from their homes.
Check out some key steps along the way to replacing the bridges.
Cowdroys Bridge: Bridge abutments in position in March 2022
Cobra Bridge: Construction underway alongside the old timber bridge in May 2022
Grumleys Bridge: Almost finished in December 2022
Punkalla Bridge: The last of the Wagonga Scenic Drive bridges was finished in August 2023
The Tilba Tilba Creek Bridge is on Corkhill Drive; a major tourist route providing access to the historic Tilba villages and district as well as Gulaga National Park. We identified the bridge replacement as a priority due to its declining condition and high volume of traffic.
We replaced the bridge during the quieter months of 2023. The new bridge is now in place and Corkhill Drive is again open to through traffic.
The new bridge features a combination of steel, concrete, and large prefabricated aluminium components, which helped keep construction time to a minimum. We maintained the original road alignment to minimise impact on the surrounding area.
The new bridge is safer, quieter and provides more reliable access for residents, tourists, and school buses. It is stronger, longer and wider and includes a pathway to provide a safe crossing area for pedestrians.
The new Tilba Tilba Creek Bridge: Located 600m from the Princes Highway, just before Foxglove Gardens and the turnoff to the sportsground.
The Potato Point Bridge is located on a road providing the only two-wheel drive access to a popular beach and holiday park.
Our contractors have replaced the timber bridge using concrete with a stainless-steel shell to provide protection against the harsh saltwater environment. We chose to use the innovative technique in order to significantly increase the life of the asset.
Potato Point Bridge: The old timber bridge crosses a coastal creek
Temporary crossing: Contractors demolished the old bridge and provided a temporary structure to retain access to the holiday park
Potato Point Bridge rebuilt: We opened the new bridge to traffic in late 2022
Silo Farm Bridge crosses the Tuross River and is an integral part of the access route for two dairy farms west of Bodalla. The bridge is typically submerged several times per year due to high river flows during wet weather. Not only are residents and emergency services unable to get in or out of the area, but milk trucks cannot access the dairy farms. The milk cannot be stored on-site for more than two days, and farmers are left with no choice but to dump thousands of litres of milk. The result is a loss of income for the farmers, loss of milk supply for the community and adverse impacts on the local environment.
We are replacing Silo Farm Bridge with a higher structure to improve access during future floods. During the February/March 2022 flood the dairy farmers dumped 107,097L of milk due to a lack of access. If the same event were to occur with the new bridge in place, the farmers would be able to store their milk for the brief time until the bridge was again trafficable.
Contractors began building the new bridge in February 2023.
Silo Farm Bridge: The low-lying timber bridge often goes underwater when it rains
Under construction: A mobile crane lowers the first deck segment into place
For more information about replacing the timber bridges, please contact our Construction Co-ordinator, Greg Knight:
- T: 02 4474 1391
- E: Council