Almost a year to the day after the old bridge burnt down, long detours a thing of the past for nearby residents.ZACH HUBBER May 10, 2014 3:10am
Mitchell Shire design and works co-ordinator, Matthew Irving stands on the new bridge over Back Creek on Heathcote-Spring Plains Rd. Photo: Zach Hubber
A bridge destroyed by fire on the Heathcote Spring Plains Rd last year has been replaced.
The new bridge was opened on April 25, much to the relief of local residents who had to take detours as long as 11.5km since last May.
Construction of the $510,000 bridge, funded by Mitchell Shire, started in early March.
Shire design and works co-ordinator Matthew Irving said the process went smoothly.
‘‘It’s a pretty standard structure and the good thing about this bridge is that the load limit allows for B-double trucks, which is good for farmers,’’ he said.
‘‘The community’s been very patient and friendly when they’ve come down to inquire about the process.’’
Mia Mia resident Graham Hyslop was one of many people affected by the damaged bridge.
‘‘The mail stopped coming, so I had to go to Redesdale to get it,’’ Mr Hyslop said.
‘‘Now I want to restore the mail run, but nothing’s happened yet.
‘‘Without the bridge the detour through my paddock to Redesdale was up to 30 minutes and an extra four miles (6.4km) to Heathcote.’’
Mr Hyslop praised the workers who built the new bridge, but questioned keeping it on an angle.
‘‘They could’ve built further up the top side and made it straight,’’ he said.
‘‘And it’s still only one lane.’’
The old bridge was built in 1876.
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