Freeburgh Bridge replacement contract awarded

A new and improved Freeburgh Bridge replacement on its way

Freeburgh Bridge is set to become operational again in 2016 after Alpine Shire Council awarded the replacement contract last week.

The Bridge was closed to vehicle access on February 16, 2015, in response to public safety concerns raised by an experienced bridge engineer.

Following community consultation and further engineering advice Council committed to reconstruct the Freeburgh Bridge to its original load capacity of 15 tonnes provided the cost did not exceed $350,000 (excl GST) during the April ordinary council meeting.

Last week Council awarded the replacement contract to Murray Valley Piling Pty Ltd for the lump sum price of $263,100 (excl GST).

Council’s Director Assets Charlie Bird said the Freeburgh Bridge would not have a restricted load limit once replacement works were completed.

“Following on from the April council meeting, we decided to seek pricing for two options, given that the bridge is likely to be a future river crossing of the Bright-Harrietville Trail,” he said.

“The two options were – option one - the replacement of the bridge with single lane traffic, or, option two - replacement of the bridge with single lane traffic and a separate shared path lane to cater for pedestrians and cyclists.

“This option doesn’t have a load restriction as there was a negligible cost increase to have an unrestricted load limit.”

Mr Bird said the addition of a shared path lane was the more expensive option, but combining the two would provide significant long-term financial benefit.

“The next section of the Bright-Harrietville trail is expected to extend from Germantown to Freeburgh at some stage, so a second shared path crossing of the river will be required,” he said.

“The total cost of the bridge replacement including the shared path is $263,100 (excl GST) and the shared path is about $20,000 of that price.

“If we constructed the shared path lane as a stand-alone package it could cost an estimated $100,000.

“Considering the estimated $100,000 to provide the shared path river crossing at a later date, incorporating the crossing with the Freeburgh Bridge offers a good value capital investment and will also require less ongoing maintenance.”

On-ground works are expected to commence in January 2016, and Mr Bird said all going well the replacement bridge should be completed in March.

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