Community consultation will inform the continuing renewal of ageing bridges across our Shire.

13 October, 2023Posted in: Delivering

We all love the country charm the Southern Highlands is renowned for but our old country bridges were never designed to bear the level of usage now demanded of them and are in need of renewal. We’re investing $3.5million bringing ageing bridges across our Shire up to modern standards and community consultation will inform the next stage, involving heritage listed Nattai Bridge.

Council took the initiative to secure this funding under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program, toward the renewal of five bridges that are weight restricted, load limited and showing varying degrees of deterioration.

“In their existing condition, the bridges posed issues for servicing of local properties and goods deliveries,” WSC Manager Project Delivery Ned Tripkovic says. “We’ve just completed upgrades to Ritters Creek Bridge which had a two-tonne weight limit, meaning that local residents couldn’t even legally have their septic tanks emptied or take delivery of potable water.”

The grant funding has come in two rounds. The first will fund renewal of four bridges, at Ritters Creek on Meryla Road, Diamond Fields Road, Burrawang Creek on Belmore Falls Road and Mittagong Creek at Merrigang Street.

Round two will fund renewal of the bridge over Nattai Creek at Ferguson Crescent, one of the few remaining timber deck bridges in the Southern Highlands. Taking into consideration the heritage significance of this crossing, community consultation drop-in sessions will be undertaken at Renwick Community Centre later this year.

“Each of these five projects entails an extensive renewal of existing structures which are showing varying degrees of significant deterioration and have come to the end of their serviceable life spans,” Ned says. Their renewal brings the bridges that connect our townships and villages up to current standards and weight loadings.

For many years to come, community members will enjoy the benefits of this renewed local road infrastructure built for longevity and safety, keeping our townships and villages better connected.

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