More funds needed for low level bridge study

Council working on the low level bridge in 2014.
Council working on the low level bridge in 2014.

Further funding is needed to determine the destination and origin of traffic passing through Cowra to allow an informed decision to be made on a possible replacement of the town’s low level bridge.

Cowra Shire Council has voted, at its recent meeting, to allocate an additional $47,550 in the first quarter budget review to fund the Low Level Bridge traffic study, taking the total cost of the study to $111,300. 

“We need to make sure all of the information is available before we get to a stage where we can make a decision that we support and go to other bodies to look for their support as well,” Cr Bruce Miller said at last month’s council meeting.

“As we know this project, for lots of reason, we won’t be able to fund ourselves.

“We have to make sure we have all of the answers ready when we are questioned,” Cr Miller said.

Cr Ray Walsh pointed out the “study is needed to make an informed decision on a possible future site and the type of replacement bridge council will eventually be looking at placing there”.

“The original amount was not enough to fund a comprehensive study,” he said.

The key points from the data gathered in the previous origin destination survey of heavy vehicle movements for Cowra are:

Cowra mayor Bill West said the study “looks not just at the heavy vehicle traffic, but local traffic moving in and around the low level bridge”.

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Cr Miller said this would allow the council to determine the traffic movements and their impacts on both the western and eastern side of the bridge and what impact replacements may have.

“There is no preconceived idea in the council on what a replacement may look like and where that alternative may be, we are collecting information so we can make a decision based on that information,” Cr West said.

Council’s Infrastructure and Operations Director Dirk Wymer said results of the survey would allow council to review project costs for the low level bridge options under consideration as well as consider funding options based on predicted traffic volumes.

Mr Wymer the results would also be used to obtain confirmation and approval from the RMS

The key points from the data gathered in the previous origin destination survey of heavy vehicle movements for Cowra are: 

  • The predominant through traffic route for heavy vehicles not stopping in Cowra is the Bathurst – Young route
  •  The priority heavy vehicle routes are then Bathurst – Grenfell and Canowindra to Young / Grenfell
  • On average, 50% of heavy vehicle traffic coming into the survey area has a destination in Cowra.