The pylons supporting the bridge over Belongil Creek on Ewingsdale Road are ‘riddled with concrete cancer’ according to a kayaker who paddled underneath it on the weekend and sent Echonetdaily these disturbing photos.
But despite Byron Shire Council receiving a report more than a year ago that the bridge was in ‘poor condition’ it has not placed a load limit on it and is only now seeking quotes to repair it.
Keen kayaker and professional photographer David Hancock, who took the photos and forwarded them to Echonetdaily, said the state of the bridge ‘didn’t look good to me’, adding ‘a few of the main supports have quite advanced “concrete cancer”.’
Pressed for comment on the state of the bridge, Byron Shire Council’s infrastructure services director, Phil Holloway, said staff were aware of the condition of the Belongil Bridge and there was no immediate risk to the public.
He added that Byron Shire bridges are inspected by an independent engineer every two years and the Belongil Bridge was last inspected in July 2013.
‘The bridge has been rated as in poor condition, primarily due to the piles, but it has not been identified that a reduced load limit needs to occur,’ Mr Holloway said.
‘Whilst it may look alarming, it is still safe for motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
‘However as this is a high usage bridge into Byron Bay, quotes are currently being sourced to repair the bridge in the short term,’ he said.
Council did not say how much it had been quoted to repair the bridge, a time-frame for fixing it or what traffic management would be required during the repairs.