As part of the 2017/18 Timber Bridge Inspections program, a bridge on Hartley Vale Road, just outside the township of Hartley Vale has been identified as requiring urgent reconstruction to its failed sandstone abutments.
The cause of the sudden and significant damage to the existing sandstone abutments of the bridge is currently unknown and as such, inspections are being carried out twice per day by both Council engineers and local bridge construction experts. A 5 tonne load limit has been placed on the bridge to minimise further damage and community impact by restricting heavy vehicle traffic while still allowing residential and light vehicle through traffic.
Works are already underway on the procurement of a temporary single span bridge to be constructed immediately adjacent to the existing bridge to divert traffic and minimise disruption to local residents while the cause of damage and methods of remediation are investigated. This temporary bridge will have a load capacity of 25 tonnes and will serve to provide temporary access to all but the largest of heavy vehicles. It is expected that this bridge will be in place mid next week.
Both Council engineers and local bridge experts will be working towards a solution to this issue as a priority through thorough structural and geotechnical investigation and design. Lithgow City Council appreciates the patience of the community during the construction of the temporary bridge and apologises in advance for any inconvenience that these necessary and urgent works may cause.