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By Willow Aliento
September 19, 2017
New South Wales has around 660 timber bridges in regional areas that need replacing.
To expedite such a mammoth task, Roads and Maritime Services has come up with a way to tackle them more quickly and more cost-effectively.
An RMS spokesperson said the number of aging council-owned bridges has been a major challenge for the NSW Government as it works to improve regional roads.
“It’s why the Country Bridge Solutions team at Roads and Maritime was given the task of developing a set of standardised, easy-to-build designs.” The team worked closely with councils across NSW, and at the end of last year finalised a suite of technical manuals and drawings to fast-track bridge replacements.
The designs were developed with the assistance of expert bridge and construction engineers and use standardised, prefabricated components. The construction methodology also incorporates the use of existing council resources and regional manufacturing capabilities. Technical manuals have been developed to guide council staff during the design and construction process.
“The solution meets the needs of councils for a hundred-year life and the design comes in one and two lane bridge designs with eight, 10 and 12-metre spans,” the spokesperson said. “This means, although it’s standardised, it will suit different topographies, while providing more resilient bridge structures which can withstand weather events.”
The first bridge to be completed using one of the new designs was a bridge over Bookookoorara Creek in Tenterfield, Northern NSW. The spokesperson said the bridge was built in just five months. That is around two months quicker than similar design options would have resulted in. It also came in at $1.08 million, a budget below average for that type of project.
Another two bridges that will use the new approach are now in the design stages, and others are in the early stages of project assessment.
Access the design guides and project updates here.
New South Wales
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