THE first stage in the future replacement of Cedar Party Creek Bridge has been given the green light, with $350,000 funding awarded through RestartNSW for investigation, feasibility and design.
Built in its current form back in the early 1960s, the old bridge has served the local community well, providing vital access for residents of Wingham and beyond.
Nearing the end of its serviceable life, and with a deck that falls below the 1 in 20 year flood height, the time is right for MidCoast Council to kickstart the process that will lead to construction of its successor.
Phil Miles, manager projects and engineering, is delighted to receive funding for the first stage of the project.
“Flooding in the Manning Valley is a key issue, and when the Cedar Party Creek Bridge goes under, not only is the community isolated, but local businesses and industries such as Wingham Beef Exports and Bakewell Haulage can be severely impacted”, Mr Miles said.
The investigation, feasibility and design stage involves developing a number of well-researched options for community consultation, which will be crucial to the success of the final design.
“Starting with a clean slate, we’ll look at variations of the route, creek crossing points, and whether a high level rail crossing can be incorporated so that traffic is no longer constrained by a level crossing”, Mr Miles added.
The design will also take into account future traffic needs for this important freight route, in terms of both volume and load.
The crossing has been vital to outlying townships for well over a century, with the first bridge over Cedar Party Creek constructed in 1869. As recently as the 1990s, the community was involved in reviewing design options that didn’t proceed, “so to be able to put this project back on the table, and seek funding to make it a reality, is very rewarding”, Mr Miles said.
An initial body of work is currently being undertaken by the MidCoast Council project team to develop a range of options.
It is anticipated those that are feasible will be the subject of community consultation later this year, which will help in determining the final design for the new Cedar Party Creek Bridge.
This first stage has been funded through the NSW government’s Fixing Country Roads program, and is part of MidCoast Council’s ongoing commitment to improving infrastructure across the region.