Two road bridges traversing the East Goulburn Main Channel have been replaced and are set to re-open as part of winter works being carried out by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW).
Construction of a new twin-span bridge on Pine Lodge North Rd has finished while work on a second bridge structure, crossing the irrigation channel on Old Dookie Rd, is progressing.
The two bridges have a long history of serving residents in the agriculture-rich East Shepparton region – from horse-drawn farm equipment when first built to today’s heavy trucks and tractors.
The original concrete arched dome structures date from around 1906. They were later complemented with twin-span bridges built at each site in 1958 however the passage of time has seen these structures develop significant cracking and erosion damage to their centre pier foundations.
GMW Project Manager Jarrod O’Brien said the works involved damming the irrigation channel, demolishing the existing structures, a large amount of earthworks to realign the channel, pre-casting new components, assembling the bridges, resealing road verges and erecting guard rails.
Extensive rock beaching of the channel banks around each structure, and lining the new steel piers to combat corrosion, will protect the bridges and their foundations far into the future.
“The old bridges have lasted pretty well, considering that some of the concrete was poured and reinforced more than a century ago,” Mr O’Brien said.
“These new bridges have been built with a design life of 80 to 100 years, so they’ll be in service for generations to come.”
The replacement program included a third bridge, a single-span structure on Mysia East Rd south of Boort, with a total contract value of $2.15 million. Specialist bridge builders North-Vic Constructions, of Kilmore, carried out the works.