Coun­cil to cast its own con­crete bridge com­po­nents

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

IN A move that would re­duce the cost of in­stalling new con­crete bridges on lo­cal roads by around 10–20 per cent, Coffs Har­bour City Coun­cil is to start cast­ing its own con­crete bridge com­po­nents.

“Coun­cil cur­rently sources its pre-cast units from one of three sup­pli­ers, all of which are re­mote from Coffs Har­bour in New­cas­tle, the Hunter Val­ley and Ar­mi­dale,” Mick Raby, the coun­cil’s direc­tor Sus­tain­able In­fra­struc­ture, said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the cost of trans­port­ing heavy pre-cast units to Coffs Har­bour is ex­pen­sive and con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to the fi­nal build cost. By man­u­fac­tur­ing lo­cally, trans­port costs will be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.”

There are 55 tim­ber bridges in the Coffs Har­bour lo­cal govern­ment area that will need re­plac­ing in the next 20–30 years.

“By man­u­fac­tur­ing our own bridge com­po­nents we can save ap­prox­i­mately 30 per cent from the ex­ist­ing cost of pre­cast items and re­duce the to­tal cost of a pre-cast con­crete bridge by be­tween 10–20 per cent,” added Mr Raby.

“There are man­u­fac­tur­ers on the Coffs Coast that make bridge com­po­nents, but they don’t make them for smaller bridges, which is what we need.

“This cur­rently lim­its the op­tions avail­able to us when we’re work­ing through our Bridge Re­newal Pro­gram.”

A cast­ing yard, to be built at a cost of $143,000, will be lo­cated on coun­cil land on Christ­mas Bells Road, which is used for the stor­age of con­struc­tion and main­te­nance ma­te­ri­als.

Ex­ist­ing coun­cil staff have the ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and qual­i­fi­ca­tions to pro­duce bridge com­po­nents on a par with what is avail­able on the mar­ket. Com­po­nents would be made as re­quired.

“The pro­posal will help sup­port the re­ten­tion of skilled labour within the re­gion,” Mr Raby said.

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