Toolamba bridge set for refurbishment

By Ashlea Witoslawski

The Toolamba community may soon be able to rejoice, with the town’s historic bridge set to be refurbished.

The Bridge Road Timber Bridge, more commonly known as Toolamba Bridge, will receive a $1.6million refurbishment to improve its dilapidated condition and to increase the vehicle load restrictions currently imposed on the bridge.

All Greater Shepparton City councillors in attendance voted for the motion to accept the tender submitted by DC Projects at April’s ordinary council meeting on Tuesday night.

City engineer Phil Hoare said the council had recently worked with the bridge construction business to replace Locky’s Bridge in Kialla.

He said the maintenance work on the more than 100-year-old bridge would be substantial, allowing the council to increase the bridge’s load limit back up to 10tonnes.

‘‘Works will take approximately 18 weeks and during this time the bridge will be closed to ensure the safety of road users and the contractor’s staff.’’

Mr Hoare said the works would ensure the bridge will be in a stable condition for another seven to 10 years.

‘‘We’re planning to replace this thing in that timeframe but there’s lots of work to do before you get to the stage of replacing a bridge like this.

‘‘This is a great outcome for the locals as it’s a key link across so we need to make sure that it remains active and effective for travel across that structure until we get to that replacement.’’

Mr Hoare said the community would be consulted when the time came to replace the bridge entirely.

‘‘The bridge has got a heritage overlay over it at the minute so obviously that will dictate what we can and can’t do and we need to work through the planning requirements,’’ he said.

‘‘We will need to do community consultations about whether the bridge stays and we pick a new alignment for a new bridge or any other options that may suit.’’

Mr Hoare said the works were scheduled to commence in May and would continue through to September, however more accurate information would be provided when the contractor has confirmed the works program.

‘‘We will be providing specific updates to the Toolamba community and to the broader community via our website.’’