JACKS Rd Bridge will be re-opened to traffic by Christmas.
Council’s manager of technical services Gil Gendron said extensive works to re-open the bridge had begun, including the replacement of the rotted piers and realignment with the roadway.
“We’re bringing the bridge back to the correct level. It’s actually sunk,” Mr Gendron said.
“We’ll remove the rotting piers at ground level and install steel piers filled with concrete. We’ll also repair the handrail and curb.”
Mr Gendron said the traffic using the bridge would be restricted by a 15-tonne load limit.
“The capacity is limited by the abutments on each end. They’re in a degraded state,” he said.
The news the bridge will be reopened has been largely welcomed by Gloucester residents, though some felt council’s efforts did not go far enough.
“Seriously, a 15-tonne weight limit. How long before a rogue truck goes over this limit, then we are back to square one,” real estate agent and Waukivory resident David Blanch posted on the Advocate’s Facebook page.
“This is just an insight as to how the current councillors are running the council. They are more concerned with running around opposing development than making common sense decisions.”
“Seriously, I have no confidence in a big percentage of the current councillors. Let’s be realistic and just put a causeway in and there will be no weight restrictions and a lot less cost.”
Mr Gendron said the bridge, which was closed to traffic in mid 2012, could not be replaced by a causeway and council would monitor any vehicles that used it.
“Causeways are not supported by the Department of Fisheries. There’s no way the development would get approval,” he said.
“Council will install a camera at the location with 24-hour surveillance to make certain the load limit is abided by.”
The cost of the works is about $65,000, which is being funded through the remains of a $130,000 loan council used to build a temporary bypass at Geales Bridge on the Scone Rd.
Mr Gendron said council had applied for funding to replace Geales Bridge and Callaghans Creek Bridge through the State government Fixing Country Roads and the Timber Bridge Replacement programs.
He said council would bring Jacks Rd Bridge back to a reasonable level of service and would likely make a decision whether to replace the structure in the next 12 to 18 months.