Building Bridges Through Shoalhaven Bushfire Recovery Effort

Published on 19 August 2020

Crane lifting bridge segment into place

A reinforced concrete bridge across School Creek, Budgong will soon be complete, just seven months after the fires that burnt 80 percent of the Shoalhaven, including five bridges.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley said “The School Creek bridge has been constructed relatively quickly with a crane lifting into place factory-made bridge decks, prepared in Newcastle, ready for the final concrete pour.”

"All that remained of the bridge after it was destroyed by fire, on January 4, were the concrete piers," said Clr Findley.

"Understandably local residents have found the lack of a bridge difficult, especially following the trauma of the fires. Without a bridge, the journey to Nowra or Kangaroo Valley could take an hour by car. Thankfully a landowner has generously allowed some local vehicles under a temporary 2 tonne culvert crossing via private property, but that has been dry weather dependent," she said.

"Council has worked as quickly as possible to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the fires with more fire resilient replacements which has taken time to secure funding, finalise tenders and arrange contracts. It is heartening to see Budgong residents can now enjoy a high-quality concrete bridge, a replacement for the previous aged timber bridge," said Clr Findley.

Shoalhaven Council was the first local government authority to place an order for the InQuik bridge at School Creek and Toomboolomobah in the Shoalhaven area, and as a result have led the way for other municipalities to use this type of fast track installation. InQuik has now been commissioned to install over 20 bridges as a result of the Currowan fire.

"It is also pleasing that all businesses and workers involved in the reconstruction, earthworks and cranage are local and/or regional NSW-based businesses. Contractor Inquik's internationally patented Bridging System has enabled the bridge to be built quickly and providing an enduring permanent solution at a competitive cost to temporary bridging solutions thanks to the innovative semi-modular construction method," said Clr Findley.

The replacement of the bridge over School Creek on Bugong Road is the last of the five destroyed bridges in the Shoalhaven to be replaced as a result of the Currowan fire, and just one the significant achievements of Council and its Recovery Committee.

Photo: Reconstruction of School Creek Bridge.

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