Harston bridge refurbishment adds 50 years of life

Tuesday 25 July, 2017

A road bridge in Harston that was built almost 60 years ago has a new lease on life.

As part of Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Winter Works this season, the Heath Rd bridge in Harston near Tatura has undergone a $120,000 refurbishment.

The bridge crosses the Central Goulburn number 8 channel and GMW Field Supervisor Jamie Talbot said the centre pier was in need of replacement.

“We had to de-water the channel first, install a cofferdam, or temporary dam, and remove the silt and mud with an excavator.

“Then we lifted the bridge beams off and put in some pre-cast bridge footing to stabilise the bridge and its base. Rock armouring has also been laid in the channel.”

A crane has been on site in recent days to lift the bridge beams back into position following the pier works. Grout will then be poured on the bridge deck.

“We’re utilising the old structure to put everything back together,” Mr Talbot said.

“This is a great option because the bridge would have cost $350,000 to replace. So this is a cost-effective way of carrying out this work.”

Mr Talbot said the project will also benefit the local economy.

“We’re 100 per cent local with the contractors we use. Even with labour hire, crane hire, quarry products and concrete – it’s all local.”

Lead Project Manager Linc Wellington said the works will extend the life of Heath Rd bridge for another 50 years.

“We’ve had a good working relationship with council to carry out these works, and the nearby landowner has also been accommodating,” he said.

This year’s GMW Winter Works program includes more than $8 million of channel remodelling, rock armouring and upgrades to about 40 structures.

As well as road bridges, it includes replacement of road culverts, private culverts and drainage subways, as well as 11km of channel bank remodelling and 18km of rock armouring.

The works are undertaken in winter to take advantage of the three-month shutdown of gravity irrigation. The irrigation season starts August 15.

GMW Managing Director Pat Lennon reminded the public to be vigilant on the roads during winter due to more traffic, earthmoving equipment and heavy vehicles operating in the region.