Eleven aging timber bridges in the Mid Coast LGA (local government area) have been earmarked for replacement before the end of the year.
Bungwahl Bridge at Possum Brush, Kundle Creek Bridge at Bucca Wauka, Emu Creek Bridge at Bulahdelah, Burrell Creek Bridge, Diamond Bridge at Wingham, Reltons Bridge at Wards River, Wards River Bridge at Weismantels, McQueen Bridge at Number One, Browns Creek Bridge at Firefly, Deep Creek Bridge at Wherrol Flat, and Teatree Creek Bridge on Wattley Hill Road are currently being replaced or preparing for replacement before 2021.
More than one third of the region's 542 bridges remain as ageing timber structures.
However, replacing the structures will remain a continued focus, with more than 10 already earmarked to be addressed over the next two years.
Earlier this week MidCoast Council engineers crossed the Little Cedar Party Creek Bridge off their list after the timber bridge was replaced.
Designed to modern loadings, the new two-lane concrete structure replaces the aged single-lane timber bridge, providing a wider and safer thoroughfare for local traffic.
Road approaches on either side were also reconstructed to align with the wider bridge, and the bridge reinstated at a slightly elevated level to improve flood immunity.
"The sheer size of our region, and the system of waterways we enjoy as part of our natural environment, means bridges are an important feature in our transport network", MidCoast Council projects and engineering manager, Rhett Pattison said.
"One of our priorities moving forward is to minimise maintenance costs, and replacing timber bridges with newer concrete structures will contribute significantly to delivering on our value-for-money approach."
A combination of funding sources has made the comprehensive bridge replacement program possible, including the $100M Road Upgrade Package (funded by the NSW Government in association with council) and the Australian Government's Bridges Renewal Program.
Along with improved safety outcomes and reduced ongoing maintenance costs, bridge replacement projects provide an opportunity to address flood immunity, allowing for continued access during heavy rain events.
For more information, to view the upcoming schedule of works on our roads and bridges, or to search for what's happening near you, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/roads