Yamba businesses risk losing freight access
YAMBA businesses are at risk of losing freight access if the Romiaka Bridge isn't replaced in the near future.
While the bridge is yet to display any structural damage, Clarence Valley Council works and civil director Troy Anderson said the infrastructure was approaching its use-by date.
"We've done a structural analysis of the bridge and there is no evidence of structural failure but it is starting to show evidence of its age," he said.
"It carries between 6000 and 9000 vehicles a day so is clearly a vital link for the growing Yamba community."
Mr Anderson said also that the bridge's width and safety barriers do not meet current design standards.
Consultants have recommended that if the bridge is not soon replaced a 20-tonne load limit will need to be imposed, restricting heavy vehicle access into Yamba.
Mr Anderson said council recognised the potential for negative impact on businesses and is seeking funding under the Federal Government's Bridge Renewal program and other government sources.
It is estimated that replacing the bridge will cost about $3.5 million.
To strengthen their funding applications, Clarence Valley Council has requested letters from local industry that support the project, and how it would benefit their businesses and how they would be affected if a 20-tonne limit was imposed on the bridge.
"We asked the Yamba community for letters to support our application and the response has been positive," Mr Anderson said.
Yamba Chamber of Commerce vice-president Bev Mansfield said it was a very important issue, especially for those who relied on freight access.
"We know just by talking to members around town that it is going to be a worry," she said.
"So many vehicles that come into Yamba would be over 20 tonne. Most of the business owners I spoke to said their supply trucks would be affected and you can imagine what impact it could have on businesses like Yamba Welding.
"Anyone who has worries with it, please send in a submission or a letter of support."
Council's funding applications are believed to be due by the end of August.
Letters can be addressed to The General Manager, marked attention Adele Shelley, at Civil Services, Clarence Valley Council, Locked Bag 23, Grafton, 2460.