The historic Toolamba Bridge is more than 100 years old and needs structural upgrades to remain open. The bridge received temporary repair work in 2017 to replace unsafe decking and cross beams supporting the deck.

The upgrades will ensure it provides safe passage for traffic until the structure is ultimately replaced at the end of its life in approximately 10 years.

The expected outcome for the repair works is to upgrade the bridge from a two tonne load limit to a 10 tonne limit for the remaining life of the bridge, approximately 8-10 years.

Cost

The bridge repairs will cost $1.6 million. Funding of $930,000 was received from Regional Roads Victoria / VicRoads from the Fixing Country Roads Grant. Council will fund $670,000 from the Capital Works Budget.

Timelines

11 June to 9 July 2019 (subject to change)

Bridge to remain open with reduced speed limit. Works will be undertaken on lower piers under the deck. Given the type of works and the variable nature of the river environment works schedules are subject to change and will be updated as the project progresses.

10 July – 15 November 2019 (subject to change)

The bridge will be closed and detours in place for approximately 18 weeks. Works will be undertaken on cross-heads, girders, cross-beams, kerbs, decking and guard rails.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this work being done?

The bridge is structurally unsound and needs upgrade works to ensure it is safe to remain in use. The alternative to upgrading the existing bridge is to close it.

Why can’t we just replace the bridge?

The planning, consultation and cost for a new bridge is significant and there are numerous examples of this across our region, for example the Echuca/Moama Bridge. Council’s (very preliminary) estimate for the replacement of the bridge is in the order of $7m (in present day dollars) however this is highly dependent on the final alignment and configuration adopted. As demonstrated by other similar bridge projects, the lead time for planning and securing adequate funding is significant, and the bridge is a vital link across the Goulburn River. These works are required to ensure the maximum life of the bridge is achieved.

Who is undertaking the work?

Council awarded the contract for the bridge upgrade to bridge construction specialists DC Projects. There were no local companies who tendered for the work.

The company recently upgraded Locky’s Bridge at Kialla. The company has demonstrated a good track record in recent years delivering bridge upgrade works for VicRoads, Murrindindi Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire, Horsham Rural City Council and Strathbogie Shire. DC Projects also has plenty of experience in working on and around waterways which will be crucial in these refurbishments.

How will the bridge upgrade be funded?

Council received funding from $930,000 from Regional Roads Victoria from the Fixing Country Roads Grant.

When will the work start and finish?

At this stage, Works will commence after the Queen’s birthday long weekend from 11 June 2018. The first lot of works will be carried out on the lower piers and the bridge will remain open to traffic at restricted speed and with possible short delays for approximately four weeks.

In the second stage of works the bridge will be closed from approximately 10 July 2019 until 15 November 2019 although these dates may be subject to change.

What are the alternatives to using the bridge?

While the bridge is closed, people travelling to Toolamba coming from south will need to go through Murchison and coming from north will come from Mooroopna. We request you plan your travel if you are visiting Toolamba during this time. Council understands the inconvenience this closure will cause for local motorists and thanks the community for their ongoing patience.

What will happen to the old bridge when we build the new one?

The new bridge will be built adjacent to the historic bridge so that a significant part of our heritage is retained for future generations to enjoy. Council will consult with the Toolamba community on plans for the old bridge.

How can I keep up to date on what is happening?

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For further information

Please contact Saleem Shaikh, Project Manager - Greater Shepparton City Council on 03 5832 9535.

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