An Eastgrove bridge that's seen too many floods in its time has been programmed for replacement.
Riverstone based company SD Group will replace the May Street structure for $1,055,657, following a council tender. The council allocated $1,262,587 for the project, which includes design, service relocations, approvals, management and a five per cent contingency.
The new structure will comprise two lanes, a pedestrian path and lift the bridge 500mm above the existing level. Some 300 metres of road construction will also be completed along Lower Sterne Street and May Street.
Eastgrove residents have endured its regular flooding and the consequent access difficulties over many years.
The council's operations director Matt O'Rourke said it had reached the end of its service life, "creating a traffic hazard on its northern approach due to a non-conforminmg radius curve and the funnelling of two-way traffic over a single lane."
It also has a 16-tonne load limit and a 20km/h speed restriction.
Asked why it was only being lifted 500mm, given the frequent flooding, Mr O'Rourke said it was about striking a balance.
"Because the flood plain upstream is so great, you would have to do a big embankment to get on to the bridge, so in effect, you're creating a large dam. We wanted to avoid that," he said.
"...The balance struck at 500mm is designed to improve flood vulnerability but to avoid creating a big upstream impact."
The current budget allocated $1,150,000 to the project, with $150,000 of that coming from Roads to Recovery funding. Councillors endorsed Mr O'Rourke's recommendation that the extra $112,587 required be transferred from the Thornford Road bridge replacement, which had won $439,436 in federal funding, thereby reducing the council's commitment.
Cr Margaret O'Neill said the work was well needed, given its regular use.
"It's a bridge that locks in Eastgrove (with flooding) and the only way out is over Rocky Hill," she said.
The replacement was deferred until the new Lansdowne Bridge was completed. That structure now also gives Eastgrove residents an exit during flooding.
In related news, the federal government has opened round five of the Bridges Renewal Program and Round 7 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP).
Hume MP Angus Taylor said councils and state and territory governments could apply for a slice of the total $300 million on offer.
"Under these programs, proponents have the opportunity to seek funding of up to 50 per cent of costs for up to five projects," he said in a statement.
"Hume has benefited enormously from previous rounds of both programs, with completed projects including the replacement of the Lansdowne Bridge in Goulburn and two heavy vehicle acceleration lanes on the busy Picton Road."
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