The bridge on Glenyalla Road over Borambil Creek, formerly part of the old New England Highway route and now an alternative route between Willow Tree and the Kankool heavy vehicle weighing station, will be closed to all traffic until further notice.
The closure follows damage to the three (3) span timber bridge which has six (6) girders in each span, whereby one (1) girder collapsed and two (2) failed by splitting in the span on the Willow Tree side of the bridge. According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Director Engineering Services, Warren Faulkner, the damage is suspected to have been caused by overloading.
“Council imposed a 3-tonne load limit immediately after the damage occurred but following a further inspection, along with staff from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), we are closing the bridge to eliminate the risk of further overloading which would lead to complete collapse of the structure,” Mr Faulkner said.
“No side track is possible, so therefore the road will be closed to through traffic. Motorists will have to detour via Willow Tree,” he continued.
“The RMS Northern Bridge crew will replace the girders in the next couple of months to get the bridge back in service.
“We will undertake a comprehensive condition assessment of timber components of the bridge and load testing will also be undertaken to guide future decisions on further repairs or replacement of the structure.
“This bridge is one of only 3 timber bridges remaining in the Shire,” he said.
“Obviously, Council is disappointed that this damage has occurred and that it may result in some inconvenience to people who have properties along the road. However, safety for road users remains our number one priority thus resulting in the decision to close the bridge to all traffic,” Mr Faulkner concluded.