Capel council plans bridge removal

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Capel Shire Council will make provision in its long term financial plan for the cost to demolish an unserviceable bridge on Bentley Road in Ludlow.

Demolition is expected to cost about $170,000, while the design and construction of a replacement crossing is anticipated to cost about $125,000.

In 2001, the council was notified by Main Roads that the bridge was in need of significant maintenance work after inspection and in 2007, the council received advice from Main Roads that the bridge was now in such disrepair that access to the road was to be closed.

Although consulting with affected landholders who had no objection to the closure of the bridge, no permanent closure was made.

In June 2016, the council received a proposal from Jimmy and Maureen Deale to assume title of the portion of road where the bridge is located.

In a presentation made to council before the meeting, Mr Deale said he wanted to see the bridge demolished so the road could be used by slow moving tractors as it was safer than using Tuart Drive.

Mr Sheedy said it was not possible to grant ownership to Mr Deale, as each side was owned by government agencies, but agreed it was time for something to be done about the bridge.

“Once council made a decision to close the bridge, we have an obligation to remove that structure so that is why it has just been sat there for 16 years,” he said.

“The bridge, I understand, didn’t qualify for any main roads funding, therefore it would have been entirely the council’s cost.

“The report now comes back saying that we have to move forward at some point and remove the structure of the bridge because it is unsafe.

“Rather than reconstruct a new bridge, which would be substantially more cost, the shire made the decision to put a low level crossing across the waterway.”

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