Yackandandah's bridge is at risk: Indigo Council

VICROADS must ensure the future of the historic Yackandandah stone bridge after a surge in heavy vehicles using the structure, according to Indigo Shire councillors.

The Isaacs Avenue bridge, which is listed on the state heritage register, was built in 1857.

A council report noted the bridge was “designed for completely different traffic conditions” and that the volume of the transport has changed dramatically.

Councillors voted on Tuesday night to write to VicRoads requesting regular inspection of the bridge and seek assurance any work would not change the materials and design of the structure.

They called for VicRoads to inform the council of defects in the bridge and to test for changes to its arch.

Despite increased heavy vehicle usage, VicRoads has said load limits on the bridge were “not warranted”.

Mayor Bernard Gaffney said the structure had been designed for horse-drawn vehicles and was “much loved by the Yackandandah community”.

“It’s part of their history, their heritage and their culture,” he said.

“It’s an absolute asset to the community and tourists.

“The B-doubles carrying water are a huge load and there’s concern about the bridge coming under too much pressure.”

Former mayor Ali Pockley said Yackandandah residents were being “fobbed off” by VicRoads.

“It would be great if they could reroute traffic to avoid that bridge altogether,” she said.

“There’s already a huge amount of wear and tear on that bridge and many locals are deeply concerned about its long-term viability.”

Weight restrictions should be placed on the structure if VicRoads cannot bypass it, Ms Pockley said.

A VicRoads spokeswoman said periodic repairs would be undertaken and welcomed further discussion.

“We have not received any correspondence in relation to the motion passed at Tuesday night’s Indigo Shire Council,” the spokeswoman said.

“At this time there is no load limit on the bridge as it is not warranted.

“VicRoads undertakes six monthly routine inspections of all bridges and inspections carried out in August and June did not find any defects.”