Ziegler Parade bridge will not be upgraded or replaced

Allansford bridge.
Allansford bridge.

ALLANSFORD’S Ziegler Parade bridge will not be upgraded or replaced, with $600,000 of Federal Government funding allocated for works to be returned. 

Warrnambool city councillors voted 6-1 to leave concrete barriers on the bridge and retain a 14-tonne load limit for the bridge on Monday evening.

Councillor Peter Hulin voted against the motion, saying he didn’t feel “it was an acceptable result at all”.

“This bridge is vital to the people of Allansford to get into the city,” he said.

“Has the minister been to see it? It didn’t fall into disrepair overnight. It never ceases to amaze me we just can’t get money and do things.

“We need to stop thinking of ourselves as the toenail of that state.” 

He said it was an “absolute disgrace the bridge was being treated this way” and said duplication of the Princes Highway in that area was needed.

Cr David Owen said while Warrnambool “was not in a marginal seat, we are in a dreamland” in regards to receiving funding. 

Chicanes on entry to the bridge will be made permanent and there will be an increase to the annual maintenance budget by $20,000 per year for condition monitoring and required concrete repairs.

The council will review the bridge condition and management plan within 10 years, at which time all options will be considered again. A council report said a detailed condition inspection had been completed on the bridge by an independent specialist.

A report prepared for the council detailed four options for works.

It said the existing bridge could not be upgraded to a 42.5 tonne capacity and a new bridge with no load limit would cost about $2.4-million.

About $150,000 (including consultant’s fees) has been spent to date to install concrete barriers, a temporary approach chicane and new pedestrian fencing to open the bridge to traffic up to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic up to 14 tonne loads.

The council had a total budget of $1.2 million for works, including a Federal Government grant of $600,000 to upgrade the bridge to allow trucks to use it.

As it cannot be upgraded the federal funding will need to be returned.