DETOURS continue to be in place for heavy vehicles, school buses and trucks on the Fox Island Rd bridge at Gunbower.
Campaspe Shire Council said assessments completed on the bridge confirmed the need to retain the weight and speed limits, and identifying short, medium and long-term options.
Mayor Adrian Weston said monthly inspections had been conducted since the limits were put in place in February to identify any changes to the structure.
Design options have also been completed to estimate funding required for temporary works and full bridge replacement.
‘‘The two-tonne weight limit and 40km/h speed limit will remain on the bridge,’’ Cr Weston said.
Council is working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to upgrade a nearby existing track, known as Lovers Lane, to provide an alternative access to north of Fox Island Rd.
‘‘The upgrade of this lane will allow a 9-tonne limit to use this alternate route in the interim. Larger vehicles and trucks however will be required to continue to detour the area,’’ Cr Weston said.
‘‘Temporary works are being considered to increase the Fox Island Rd bridge weight limit to 12-tonne, retaining the 40km per hour speed limit.’’
The long-term option is to replace the bridge at a cost of $1.6 million.
Traffic counts indicate the bridge has a considerable level of use and council believes bridge replacement works would qualify for Federal funding through the bridge renewal funding program.
‘‘Accordingly a funding application has been submitted for the bridge’s replacement. However until a new bridge is in place, heavy vehicles, school buses and trucks will be required to detour the area,’’ Cr Weston said.
Letters have recently gone out to local residents, emergency services, truck companies and schools providing an update on this project.
A report will be presented to the July council meeting outlining options for the bridge.
‘‘Detours continue to be in place for all vehicles exceeding the 2-tonne weight limit and drivers are urged to observe these restrictions,’’ Cr Weston said.