Upper Hunter Shire Council has been successful in obtaining funding from Round Two the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads program, to build a bigger, safer Middlebrook Bridge.
The NSW Government is matching the $1,164,000 funds that have already been allocated from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program. The replacement of Middlebrook Bridge in Scone including new safer road approaches and realignment is estimated to cost $2,328,000.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the bridge is at the end of its effective life and has been of concern to locals for many years.
The new concrete bridge will be two lanes to accommodate future traffic demands and is one metre higher to avoid flooding. Currently Middlebrook Road has an average of 400 vehicle movements a day and demand for additional subdivisions are likely to increase this figure. The bridge is estimated to have an effective life of 100 years and is designed to cater for a one in one hundred year flood event. The proposed new bridge is higher than the existing bridge by approximately one metre and is therefore a longer structure.
As part of the planning for the new bridge, Council has considered waterway calculations, environmental issues, cultural issues, geotechnical issues, the capital and long term maintenance costs and road safety.
“I am very pleased Middlebrook Bridge will be the next project in Council’s multi-million dollar bridge replacement program,” Cr Bedggood said.
“I have driven, ridden a horse or cycled over that bridge, hundreds of times in the last thirty years and people will be doing that over the new bridge for the next 100 years.
The bridge’s replacement was included in Council's Community Strategic Plan 2013+ as one of the short term priority bridge replacements and has also been identified in Council's Asset Management Plans for replacement.
Tender documents for the project have been drafted and Council expects to award the contract later in 2016, under the new Council, and construction to begin in 2017.
The project is jointly funded by the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads program.
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.