Watt Road Bridge safety upgrades complete
Greater Shepparton City Council is pleased to announce that repair works on Watt Road Bridge are now complete. The bridge was opened to traffic on schedule last Friday 10 December. Read more
The upgrades will ensure it provides safe traffic access between Mooroopna and Kialla for at least the next ten years.
The timber trestle bridge next to the old Mooroopna post office was built in 1877-8 under the supervision of Patrick Robertson, Clerk of Works. Timber from an earlier bridge across the Goulburn River near its junction with the Broken River (Tanner’s Bridge) was used in its construction.
The Mooroopna-Kialla Bridge originally had a central drawbridge that could be lofted to allow the passage of steamers to and from Echuca, which occurred spasmodically between 1875 and 1904. The drawbridge was replaced by a rigid centre section sometime later, and this replacement section was badly damaged in the 1974 floods and rebuilt.
In 2012 some support pylons were reinforced with steel plating. Urgent repair works were carried out in July 2020 to keep the bridge servicing the 3 tonne load limit.
The most recent bridge inspection highlighted issues with certain critical components of the deteriorating bridge and Council will be undertaking upgrade on these prioritised members at this stage. The design of the upgrade will allow the bridge to carry up to ten tonnes and increase the life of the bridge by ten years.
The current bridge repairs are anticipated to cost $1 million.
Click thumbnails for an enlargement.
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.
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 preliminary estimates for the replacement of the bridge is in the order of $10m (in current day $’s) however this is highly dependent on the final Watt Road 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 and these works are required to ensure the maximum life of the bridge is achieved.
The bridge is an important commuter route over the Goulburn River connecting multiple townships. Please refer to the question below "What are the alternatives to using the bridge?" for alternative routes for motorists.
Yes, the bridge is included in the Heritage Overlay of the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme as HO318. The timber trestle bridge, built in 1877/78, is of significant local history, aesthetic and technical cultural heritage to Greater Shepparton. This includes evidence of the former drawbridge. The structure is a rare surviving example of this type of construction.
Council has engaged Waratah Constructions of Benalla to carry out the upgrade of the bridge. Waratah will engage local and non-local companies as sub-contractors.
Rural Works Pty Ltd were engaged to design the upgrade works and will be the project manager for the upgrade.
The upgrade works are partly funded under Federal Governments Bridges Renewal Program and Council will part fund the works from the Bridge renewals budget.
Commencing Monday 2 August 2021 with anticipated completion by 10 December 2021.
While the bridge is closed, people travelling between Kialla and Mooroopna will need to go through Shepparton. We request you plan your travel during the works.
Another alternative is travelling via Toolamba.
Council appreciates the inconvenience this closure will cause for local motorists and thanks the community for their ongoing patience.
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For further information please contact: Project Manager - Greater Shepparton City Council (03) 5832 9700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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