A new concrete bridge will be constructed on Sandy Creek Road, Ellalong, altering the current eight-tonne limit to open and reinstating the road as an effective rural collector.
Cessnock City Council had listed Milgang Bridge for a $500,000 refurbishment but council officers’ investigations found that due to favourable market conditions, council can replace Milgang Bridge and three other timber bridges for the $1.5 million it has secured under the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.
The concrete bridge will cost about $150,000 more than refurbishing the timber bridge, but with maintenance costs of timber bridge around $15,000 a year, the difference will be recouped in 10 years.
The concrete bridge will also have a 100-year lifespan, compared to the estimated 20-year design life of the timber refurbishment.
Council will enter into negotiations with a suitable bridge contractor, and work could begin as early as February and be completed by June, weather permitting.
Sandy Creek Road will be closed during construction.
Milgang Bridge is one of six timber bridges earmarked for replacement under council’s revised four-year bridge construction program.
Murray’s Run 1 Bridge at Laguna, Lowes Bridge, Congewai and Bianca’s Bridge, Pokolbin are on the 2013/14 list.
The Lomas Lane, Nulkaba bridge is set for replacement in 2014/15 and Dairy Arm, Laguna’s in 2016/17.
Bridges in line for refurbishment include Fourth Street, Weston (2013/14); Fosters Bridge, Quorrobolong and Kline Street, Weston(2015/16) and Hetton Street, Bellbird (2016/17).
Recent inspections of the two Weston bridges and Fosters Bridge found that all three bridges had a level of structural deterioration requiring the imposition of load limits or an increase in the load limit already applied.
Foster Bridge’s load limit has been reduced from 20 tonnes to 10 tonnes, Kline Street’s to 20 tonnes and Fourth Street’s to 10 tonnes, all due to severe damage to a number of structural elements.
The Fourth Street bridge refurbishment was brought forward to 2013/14, ahead of the Lomas Lane works.
Kline Street was introduced into the program ahead of Hetton Street, which was deferred to 2016/17, and replacing Abbotsford Bridge.
The South Maitland Railway pedestrian bridge at Weston is set to be demolished as part of the 2013/14 program.