Historic bridge restoration underway

Work has begun to restore Dunbible Creek Railway Bridge, one of 5 bridges to be restored as part of the construction of 24km Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Much of the rail and bridge infrastructure along the trail is significantly damaged and decayed, making it unsafe and unsuitable for public use. These restoration works will see some bridges receive a much-needed facelift including removing the old lead paint and repainting.

American-inspired steel through truss bridges became a hallmark of the North Coast Railway Line which first opened in 1894.

“The Dunbible Creek Railway Bridge is a good example of steel through truss bridge and this is a fascinating restoration process. It is great that the project team are prioritising documentation of the changes to contribute to the ongoing story of our rail history.” said Molly Green Museum Director, Tweed Regional Museum.

Since construction of the trail began in late 2021, contractors have completed an archival record of 11 bridges across the length of the Tweed section of the trail to ensure. These records will be shared with Tweed Regional Museum to add to their collection.

Other preliminary works also underway include the completion of Geotechnical and Foundation Study, clearing works and the installation of a trial surface which has required rails to be removed.

“The rail infrastructure is in a state of disrepair, and while its condition is unsuitable for its intended purpose, it is important to us that we reuse, recycle and minimise waste,” Project Director, Iain Lonsdale explained.

“It is likely that the majority of rails removed during construction works will be repurposed as pylons within the foundations for new building construction overseas. We are retaining a small length of reclaimed rail to potentially incorporate into infrastructure such as seating, sign/fence posts, or tables along the rail trail and have earmarked metal sleepers, plates, clips and bolts to be recycled at the Newcastle Steel Mill.”

As contractors continue construction and restoration works along the trail, there may be traffic delays in the following locations in February 2022:

• Dunbible - Stokers Rd

• Stokers Siding - Stokers Rd and The Bloodwoods Rd & Tunnel Rd

• Mooball - Tweed Valley Way

• Crabbes Creek - Tweed Valley Way

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