A new concrete Dicks Creek Road Bridge at Nanima, near Murrumbateman, was officially opened on Friday, May 12. The new bridge replaces the timber bridge that was built in August 1960.
Yass Valley Council mayor Rowena Abbey said the region was like many rural councils, which have a number of timber bridges that have deteriorated over many years and need to be replaced.
“In December 2016, council adopted a ‘Bridge Rehabilitation Program’ to ensure the remaining 11 bridges are replaced as soon as financially possible,” Cr Abbey said.
The project was possible after council successfully received $723,000 from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program (round two) and $723,000 from the State Government’s Fixing Country Roads Program (round two).
“On behalf of Yass Valley Council and our local residents, I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to both the Federal and State Governments – this funding will prove invaluable to our community,” Cr Abbey said.
The project was more than 12 months in the making after residents, businesses and emergency-service providers first raised concerns about the 5-tonne load limit of the timber bridge in late 2015-early 2016.
In February 2016, council finalised its program for a temporary bridge installation. Two months later, the temporary steel truss bridge, similar to a Bailey Bridge, was installed over Dicks Creek. In August 2016, construction of the permanent concrete replacement bridge began.
Today is a great occasion for the residents of the area and I would like thank all involved.
Attending the opening was senator for the ACT Zed Seselja, who said local residents welcomed the funding.
“With the 1960 bridge starting to deteriorate, Yass Valley Council had to impose a five-tonne load limit due to safety concerns. The new bridge will improve safety and access for residents and save money for freight operators,” senator Seselja said.
Lindsey Butt, one of the residents, remembers the day the original bridge was built. His father, Owen Butt, was one of the many local families who supplied timber and labour for its construction.
“I was about 10 years old when the original bridge was constructed and I remember helping my father get the timber ready for the construction crew,” he said.
“Today is a great occasion for residents and I would like thank all involved.”
The council will remove the temporary steel bridge.