EMERGENCY repairs will be undertaken on Brookers Bridge on Mirannie Road at Reedy Creek on Saturday following further engineering assessments on the structural integrity of the structure today.
Singleton Council acted immediately to impose a two-tonne load limit and a 10km/h speed limit following reports from bridge engineers who inspected the site yesterday that urgent action was necessary to mitigate the risk of potential collapse.
Emergency services have been notified, and the school bus will now collect and drop-off school children on the southern side of the bridge near the entrance to the quarry until further notice.
The bus will depart from this point at approximately 7.45am and return about 4.15pm.
Council was investigating the re-establishment of a side track around the bridge, but ruled out the works because the track would not provide safe and adequate access for larger vehicles, and the time needed for construction.
Council’s director community corporate and community Anthony Egan said materials were being delivered to the site on Friday afternoon ahead of works on Saturday.
“This work will involve strengthening of the existing timber structure with hardwood,” he said.
“We would anticipate the works to be complete by tomorrow afternoon [Saturday], and further repairs will be undertaken in the coming weeks to further strengthen the bridge to enable large trucks, buses and emergency vehicles to use the bridge.
“At this stage, we will wait for advice from our bridge engineers to determine whether the repairs to be done tomorrow will be enough to increase the load limit on the bridge to 4.5 tonnes.”
Mr Egan said council was completing a detailed design for the replacement of Brookers Bridge.
“In the longer term, the work on the detailed design of the replacement bridge will be expedited to enable tenders to be called within four to six months, with a construction period of six months,” he added.