The good news is that residents around Bangalow who have been driving over a series of increasingly dodgy wooden bridges in recent years are about to see five of them replaced with solid steel ex-army bridges.
The total project cost is close to $6 million, which is being evenly shared by the state and federal governments.
The Bangalow Bridges Replacment project will see the existing Booyong, Parkers, James, O’Meara’s and Scarrabelottis bridges all replaced. The new bridges will have much higher load limits – 44 tonnes – compared to the existing 3 to 15 tonnes on the current bridges.
The bad news is that all the bridges, with the exception of Scarrabelottis, will be closed to all traffic when they are being replaced – and in each case that will be for several months.
A Byron Shire spokesperson said, ‘Council is very aware that the replacement of the bridges will create some inconvenience [which] can’t be avoided’.
However they have been reassured that ‘one bridge will be reopened to traffic prior to work starting on the next bridge’.
That does mean, however that schedules for all five bridges are likely to change if weather or unexpected delays to one project occur.
To minimise the inconvenience, people living in the affected areas are encouraged to sign up for regular newsletter updates with [email protected]
Current work schedule
Work on Booyong Bridge (located on Booyong Road between Waterloo Street/Pearces Creek Road and Lismore Road) began on 16 April 2018. The replacement of this bridge is expected to be finished around 10 July.
During construction vehicles travelling westbound (to Lismore or Clunes) on Booyong Road will need to seek an alternate route. Eltham Road and Booyong Road travelling northeast towards Nashua will be available during construction. Note there is a 15-tonne load limit on James Bridge until it can be replaced.
Work on Parkers Bridge (located on Friday Hut Road between Brooklet Road and Lismore Road) is scheduled to start on Monday 2 July and finish on Friday October 5.
Access to Bangalow will be via Brooklet Road and Hinterland Way during construction. Access to Lismore will be via Fernleigh Road, Nashua Road, Booyong Road and Eltham Road, which will remain open during construction.
James Bridge (located on Booyong Road between Bangalow Road and Scarrabelottis Road) is scheduled to close on: Monday 24 September 2018 and reopen on Friday 25 January 2019.
Access to Lismore Road will be via Booyong Road and Clunes during this closure. The replacement of the Booyong Bridge will be complete before James’ Bridge is closed to traffic.
O’Mearas Bridge (located on Binna Burra Road between Lismore Road and Federal) is set to close on Monday 8 October 2018 and reopen on Tuesday 8 February 2019.
Vehicles that normally travel via Binna Burra Road between Bangalow and Federal will need to seek an alternate route. Access to properties on either side of the bridge will be maintained.
Scarrabelottis Bridge (on Scarrabelottis Road) will not be closed during construction, which will take place between late May and early October 2018.