Work to rebuild Murphys Bridge on Eurobodalla Road in Cadgee, west of Dalmeny is nearing completion.
The bridge is now open to local residents under traffic control, however, the finishing touches still need to be completed such as the approach slabs and curbs.
A number of locals held a barbecue near the bridge this week to celebrate the largest bushfire-affected bridge replacement in the Eurobodalla Shire, after the old timber bridge was destroyed by fire on New Years Eve in 2019.
The 68.5 metre replacement bridge is stronger and capable of taking heavier loads than the old bridge but for local children the new bridge represents something else.
Lakota Walpole who started kindergarten not long after the black summer bushfires but is now a Year 2 student at Bodalla Public School, was thrilled about her very first pick up from her own bus stop at Cadgee.
“My name’s Laktoa and I’m very excited because I got my first time, getting picked up from my own bus stop means a lot to my family,” she said.
Murphys bridge was the largest bushfire-affected bridge replacement and when finished, will be the final fire/flood affected bridge replacement to be completed.
Council’s initial plans were to rebuild the timber bridge, however, with support of Transport for NSW, there was an opportunity to “build back better” according to a council spokesperson.
Council secured funding for a multi-span modular concrete structure which would be more fire and flood resilient.
The new bridge is an InQuik Bridging System – a combination of large prefabricated steel and aluminium components, with concrete poured on site.
Works on the bridge rebuild got underway in 2021 with council keen to re-open direct access for communities west of the Tuross River.
The aim was to have Murphys Bridge rebuilt by early 2022 however works have been hampered by flood disasters and record rainfall in the region.
Images: Norm Johnstone, Eurobodalla Shire Council