EXPLAINED: Underneath the surface of Romiaka Bridge
A HOLE in the Romiaka Bridge on Yamba Road, which closed one lane of traffic since Monday afternoon, has now been repaired and both lanes of traffic on the bridge reopened to traffic.
The hole was discovered late on Monday afternoon, and Clarence Valley Council's work and civil director Troy Anderson said the hole appeared small at the surface, but was substantially larger below ground.
"We have filled the hole with concrete and the damaged section is now open to traffic," he said.
"We had a similar problem on this bridge a couple of years ago and that site has posed no further problems since repairs were done."
Mr Anderson said council recognised the bridge was reaching the end of its serviceable life, but construction on a new bridge is not expected to be completed until next year.
Clarence Valley Council has successfully applied for funds from the NSW Government's Fixing Country Roads Program for a new bridge, but formal funding advice is needed before any work will take place.
"We have started planning for a new bridge on the basis we know funding is coming," Mr Anderson said.
"At this stage, we are planning to go to tender in September or October and award a contract before Christmas, with construction starting in February next year.
"The aim is to have the bridge finished by the end of 2017."
In March this year, then-Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss announced $1.73 million in funding from the Federal Government for a new two-lane Romiaka Channel bridge.
"Bridges are expensive and as a result councils can't afford to do many. Over decades, many of them start to deteriorate until repairs are no longer an option and people start (applying) load limits and as a result they cease to be a useful part of network," Mr Truss told The Daily Examiner.
At the time of the funding announcement, Mr Anderson said consultants had advised Clarence Valley Council if the current bridge was not replaced soon, a 20-tonne load limit would need to be imposed.