Watt Road Bridge is over 140 years old and needs ongoing maintenance to remain open.

The upgrades will ensure it provides safe traffic access between Mooroopna and Kialla for at least the next ten years.

History

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.

Cost

The current bridge repairs are anticipated to cost $1 million.

FAQs

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 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.

Why can’t we just take the bridge the down?

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.

Is the bridge heritage protected?

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.

Who is undertaking the work?

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.

How will the bridge upgrade be funded?

The upgrade works are partly funded under Federal Governments Bridges Renewal Program and Council will part fund the works from the Bridge renewals budget.

When will the work start and finish?

Commencing Monday 2 August 2021 with anticipated completion by 10 December 2021.

What are the alternatives to using the bridge?

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. 

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

Subscribe to our email list in the box on the right of this page and we will send emails with news and information.

For more information

For further information please contact: Project Manager - Greater Shepparton City Council (03) 5832 9700 or email projects@shepparton.vic.gov.au 

On This Page


Timelines

  • Stage 1 – Completed July 2020 • Removal of asphalt
     • Inspection beams under-bridge
     • Replacement of damaged decking and cross-beams
  • Stage 2A Current Upgrade – (10-12 weeks)
     • Setup and prep
     • Lower pile repairs
     • Walers and cross-bracings
     • Upper pile repairs
  • Stage 2B Current Upgrade – (8-10 weeks)
     • Inspection of the remaining components
     • Remaining bridge decking and kerbs
     • Guard rail and posts
     • Height barrier installation

 

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