Timber renewal of the Brunswick Heads bridge commenced early February 2020 and works are progressing well with Stage Two of construction now into its final stages. These works are expected to be completed by end-September, weather permitting, when the bridge's deck will be completed and open to two lanes of traffic again. Following this, Council will be working on some final touches including upgrades for the bridge's road approaches as well as painting and installation of upgraded railing on both the bridge and pedestrian walkway.
The pedestrian walkway is closed during stage two works. Please use the Footbridge, near Terrace Holiday Park to cross the river.
The contractor's compound and material lay-down area is set up in the car-parking area opposite the Hotel Brunswick and some car-parking spaces will not be available for public use during these works.
About the Bridge Renewal project
Brunswick Heads’ iconic South Arm Bridge is in urgent need of an upgrade to ensure it is structurally safe for use and to enable continuing access to much-loved beaches, parks, homes, facilities and connection to the town.
In February 2019, an engineering inspection and load assessment of the bridge rated it in very poor condition and the load limit on the bridge was reduced from 30 tonnes to 10 tonnes.
Council was awarded a grant from the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal program for $607,000 to upgrade the bridge and we will provide matching funds to complete critical works needed to make the bridge structurally safer. Total investment in this project is more than $1.2 million dollars.
While the restoration works were initially scheduled to start in September 2019, the discovery of significant numbers of nesting Welcome Swallows under the bridge and in the Cape Byron Marine Park meant that commencement of works were postponed until early February 2020.
Additional monitoring of load limits (at 10 tonnes) helped to ensure that the structure remained safe.
Works on the bridge involve replacement of critical structural elements including the timber girders and concrete-wrapped piles (the column supports that hold the bridge up).
Once the bridge’s structure is safe, we will upgrade several sections of the deck (the road section of the bridge) replacing rotten timber sleepers with recycled timber. At the same time, the protruding steel bolts will be replaced with internal steel fastenings to create a smoother and safer timber road surface more resistant to long- term decay.
Council is retaining the timber features and heritage look-and-feel of the bridge. The existing footprint of the bridge will not change and the overall look of the bridge will generally not change as existing timber elements will be replaced with similar looking certified hardwood timber.
The community is advised that there will be no pedestrian or cycling access across the bridge during the second stage of works. Pedestrian and cycling access will be blocked for about eight to twelve weeks. The footbridge will be the detour walkway for pedestrians and those on bicycles during this time. Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.
Motor vehicle traffic will be managed by traffic controllers during the day and a single lane will remain open for vehicles throughout the project. Bridge closures may be required at certain times.
This is a significant major project, designed to give the bridge another 50 years of life, ensuring it remains part of the town of Brunswick Heads for the long-term.