Barwidgee Creek Rail Trail Bridge damaged by recent heavy rainfall

HEAVY rainfall on Thursday, March 1 has further damaged the historic Barwidgee Creek Rail Trail Bridge in Myrtleford, causing Council to reassess its work in restoring the structure.

Council has been working on suitable solutions for preserving and rehabilitating the 120 year old bridge in conjunction with the North East Catchment Management Authority since damage caused by previous flooding.

Funding approval for the repair works has been granted through the Natural Disaster Funding Assistance program funded by the Federal and State Governments.

Staff were in the process of preparing a tender for works when a swollen Barwidgee Creek tore out a section of the riverbank and a significant section of a wing wall.

Rock beaching was arranged to be placed as a temporary measure on Friday, 2 March to minimise any further damage to the structure from more heavy rainfall which was forecast for the weekend.

The extent of damage and required restoration works will be reassessed and tender documentation prepared in the coming weeks for works to be programmed in the near future.

Council’s Director Infrastructure Services Ian Ellett said the bridge was immediately closed and was assessed by an engineer this week to establish the extent of damage.

Temporary repair works have been carried out on the western abutment approach of the bridge, which was reopened to pedestrians and cyclist traffic on Thursday, 8 March.

Bollards have been placed at either end to prevent vehicles from accessing the bridge.

“This does set the project back a bit, but is timely because we already have plans to proceed with refurbishment works on this bridge,” Mr Ellett said.

“The next step now is to revise the scope of works in consultation with other stakeholders to suit the latest developments.

“These will be specialised works to fix the damage while still respecting the heritage of the bridge.”

Barwidgee Cree Rail Trail Bridge has been temporarily fixed to allow for pedestrian and cyclist traffic

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