Several factors are considered when prioritising our bridge renewal program.
- The current bridge condition, based on engineering assessments and whether the bridge has been load limited.
- The current maintenance cost of the bridge and the burden on Council’s operational budget, the replacement cost and the forecast reduction in maintenance costs.
- What class of road is the bridge located on, and what type of vehicles use that road. For example, is the road a school bus route, how many vehicles use the route and what type of vehicles.
- Is there an alternative access / egress route and is the area subject to bushfire risk.
- Does the route provide access for agriculture / industry and tourism.
- Council also advocates for funding as and when appropriate funding is available. The current Bridge Renewal Program has been significantly accelerated thanks to funding from the following sources:-
- NSW Government - Fixing Country Bridges, Fixing Country Roads,
- Federal Funding - Bridge Renewal Program
- Bellingen Shire Council – General Fund / SRV’s
The major contributor to the current program, being Fixing Country Bridges funding, contributing $18.5M to our current total program $23M.
Fixing Country Bridges Program - Grant programs - Local Government Relations - Partners & suppliers - Business & Industry - Roads and Waterways – Transport for NSW