COUNCIL has again back-flipped on plans to replace Geales Bridge on the Scone Rd after learning that an impending load limit on the structure would impede residents as well as tourist and transport operators.
In July council rescinded a motion to build a temporary bypass at Geales Bridge.
But after writing to stakeholders, council has reconsidered the decision.
A load limit for vehicles weighing more than 15 tonnes will be placed on the bridge on October 1, restricting heavy vehicle movements.
The bridge, which is 38.6km from Gloucester, is frequently used by logging trucks, cattle trucks, tour buses visiting the Barrington Tops and heavy plant equipment owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Council received two letters, from timber and livestock transport operator Jason Collins and the NPWS, both of which urged council to replace or repair the bridge or install a temporary bypass to allow heavy vehicles to continue using the road.
A temporary bypass would cost about $60,000 to install.
Funds to replace the bridge were set aside in council’s 2012-13 budget but there has been no provision for the current financial year.
“Continued use of Geales Bridge by heavy vehicles increases the risk of catastrophic bridge failure dramatically,” Technical Services manager Gil Gendron said in a report to council.
Mr Gendron said the 15-tonne load limit would increase the life limit of the bridge for a period of two to five years.