Flood resistant bridge design will provide emergency fire access

8 September 2017

Surf Coast Shire Council has prepared concept designs for reinstated bridges at Stony Creek Nature Reserve in Lorne.

A severe storm on 14 September 2016 damaged three bridges at the reserve, two beyond repair.

Restoration of the river crossings will be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) for eligible expenditures

The bridges qualified as critical infrastructure under the Department of Treasury and Finance funding guidelines due to the bridges’ role in local fire prevention within the reserve and for adjacent houses.

A new culvert design for two of the river crossings will mean emergency vehicles will be able to access the track at Stony Creek Nature Reserve in the event of a bush fire or other natural disaster.

The downstream timber bridge will be reinstated after repairs with the two upstream bridges to be replaced with a culvert system that allows migration of fish and provide access for emergency vehicles.

Lorne ward Councillor Clive Goldsworthy said the community would welcome the reopening of the path at the reserve.

“There’s no doubt the Lorne community is looking forward to once again having pedestrian and emergency management access alongside Stony Creek,” he said.

The funding arrangement under the NDRRA for eligible expenditures means Council can reinstate public infrastructure that will provide continued emergency access.

Cr Goldsworthy said the Council was seeking quotes from suitable contractors to design and build the river crossings and was aiming to have works completed in time for the peak summer holiday season.

“It’s subject to assessment of tenders and suitable weather but our goal is to have new bridges in place for the summer holidays,” he said.

Until the bridge works are complete, residents and visitors are asked to obey signage in the reserve for their safety.