Those who enjoy the Runnyford Road and Runnyford Bridge for business, home or pleasure are delighted with the re-opening of the bridge and the way it looks. Alas there will be no official opening however the locals have all been out taking photos that will eventually fill the historical archives.
A Council spokesperson advised The Beagle that many of the old bridge timbers were in a very poor state due to rot and termites. "These were disposed to landfill in accordance with the approved environmental plan. All timber able to be re-used by Council was taken to our storage yard for future reuse on Council projects. "Tenders were not called as the work was done in-house. A small amount of timber, not useful to Council, was left onsite for the landowners as in-kind compensation for using their land during construction. "This saved Council disposing of these materials to landfill. In-kind arrangements of this sort are not uncommon in local government" the spokesperson said.
"The final cost for the whole bridge replacement project was $1.5 million. $850,000 of this was provided by the Australian Government's Roads to Recovery Programme, the rest was allocated through Council’s bridge funds. The final costs and construction timeframe were higher than expected due to poor ground conditions, which required significantly deeper-than-expected foundations. "The project required the joining of multiple timber piles and driving them to depths of over 20m into the soft river bed. Persistent rain and wind also made working at heights, establishing scaffolding in the deeper water and using electric tools and chainsaws more difficult, as such additional safety measures were put in place at additional cost." Take a drive and discover this gem of a bridge that does the bridge crew who rebuilt it proud.