A temporary bridge will be installed over Wangaratta-Beechworth Road in the new year to allow access to traffic again, following damage to Golden Ball bridge in last week’s floods.
The bridge’s piles, which support the structure, were badly damaged during the deluge and road was severely eroded from the force of the water.
It is a problem that will take months to repair, and even though there are alternative ways to get between Wangaratta and Beechworth, businesses have been worried about a lack of tourists during the holiday season.
Regional Roads Victoria north eastern regional director Nicki Kyriakou said a temporary Bailey Bridge would allow access to cars in the short term.
“We hope to reopen the Beechworth-Wangaratta Road to light vehicle traffic with the installation of a Bailey Bridge over Hodgson’s Creek early in the new year,” she said.
“We started investigating the Bailey Bridge option as soon as the extent of the damage became clear and we’re very pleased to be progressing with this solution to restore access.”
The bridge will only be re-opened for light vehicles, buses and emergency services vehicles including fire trucks.
Other large trucks will have to continue using the alternative routes in place now, via Beechworth-Chiltern Road or Buckland Gap Road.
RRV engineers are also working on designs and timelines to fix the permanent Golden Ball bridge.
The Beechworth Chamber of Commerce and Indigo Council have been in regular contact with RRV about the bridge issues and were both supportive of a Bailey Bridge option in the short term.