The Simson Bridge on Clifton Road just north of Breeza has been closed to traffic following an assessment which revealed extensive flood damage.
Gunnedah Shire Council Director Infrastructure Services Jeremy Bartlett said recent heavy rainfall had exacerbated flood damage to the bridge’s road approaches.
“Repeated flood events last year left the banks of the Mooki River softened and eroded, with damage to the southern road approach of the bridge,” Mr Bartlett said.
“To allow access to the route while Council sought disaster recovery funding, one lane of the bridge was opened to traffic, but a recent assessment after rain events and heavy traffic has shown tension cracking has now extended across the full width of the road.
“Unfortunately, it is no longer safe to allow traffic access to the route.”
Detour options for through traffic are available via the Kamilaroi and Oxley Highways. There are alternative routes available for affected residents and property owners both to the north and south of the bridge location.
Signage has been placed on Clifton Road and on either side of the bridge to alert road users.
“We realise this closure has come at a difficult time for primary producers,” Mr Bartlett said, “but the damage to the road means this has to be done.
“Council is working with Transport for NSW toward having the required repair funded under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) as Essential Public Asset Reconstruction Works (EPAR). There is no quick fix for this damage.
“There are a number of steps in this process, each of which will take some time, meaning the road is likely to be closed for a number of months.
“While we realise this will cause significant disruption, we ask for patience while we work towards the best solution for this important route.”