Wodonga Council is about to embark on one of its biggest single bridge replacement projects with the Lawrence Street crossing of House Creek due to begin in coming weeks.
The total project including roadworks is more than $3.2 million and has required the allocation of an additional $1.7 million to be found for its anticipated completion later this year.
The council this week awarded Nelmac Engineering a tender worth $2.71 million for the demolition and construction of the Lawrence Street bridge and awarded Excell Gray Bruni a tender worth $523,474 for the associated roadworks.
The bridge, which is almost 40m long, was built in 1966.
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The final bridge design will also allow for a pedestrian and cycle underpass, which presently doesn't exist, and will be built 300mm above the once in 100-year flood level.
It has also required the reconstruction of Lawrence Street between Melrose Drive and Morrison Street to be put on hold and help partly bankroll the bridge replacement.
Works on the 550m section were budgeted at between $500,000 and $800,000 and would have resulted in the removal of large pine trees on the southern boundary of Wodonga Tennis Centre.
The tennis club had previously complained to council about pine needles and cones dropping onto its grass courts becoming a maintenance problem.
The bridge replacement will also be partly paid for by a $733,000 federal government grant.
A high level assessment of the bridge's condition completed a month ago by consultant structural engineers put paid to the possibility the bridge deck only be upgraded.
It also recommended a 15 tonne load limit be immediately placed on the bridge which has been done with $200,000 already spent on maintaining the load limit.
Budget variations approved for the March quarter have generated an additional $1.5 million in unrestricted cash reserves which can be used on the project.
Lawrence Street is one of the city's busiest roads with Wodonga West Primary School located nearby the bridge.
"The council went out to residents in the surrounding areas late last year flagging upcoming works this year on the bridge and the associated disruptions," council chief executive Mark Dixon said.
"Alternative routes around the crossing point include Brockley Street, Melbourne Road and Woodland Street and detours will be well sign-posted..
"This is a significant project in our capital program that represents investment in our city and investment in creating and sustaining local jobs in our community."