Farmers fear a new bridge at Colbinabbin will be too narrow

By Rodney Woods

State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has called on Campaspe Shire Council to replace Groves Weir Bridge with a bridge of equal width to avoid major disruptions for Colbinabbin farmers.

Ms Ryan met with landholders on January 22 to hear their concerns about council's plan to narrow the two-lane bridge to a single lane.

“This is a vital piece of infrastructure for local farmers moving heavy machinery and stock,” she said.

“The current bridge is wide enough for farm machinery to cross but council plans to make it a single-lane bridge.

“A reduction from 6.1 metres to 4.8 metres will prevent farmers from transporting stock and machinery across the bridge and add a 10 km diversion to their travels.

“It will also force more slow-moving heavy machinery onto the Rushworth-Bendigo Rd, which is a freight route for B-doubles.”

Ms Ryan wrote to council in December regarding proposed future works for Groves Weir Bridge, reiterating that it is regularly used by a number of nearby landholders.

Campaspe Shire Council infrastructure services general manager Jason Deller confirmed a report on the planned works will be presented at council's February meeting.

“The replacement of Groves Weir Bridge is listed in this year’s council budget,” Mr Deller said.

“The scope of works for the bridge on Groves Weir Rd, and process moving forward for the project, is tabled for discussion at February’s council meeting.”

Ms Ryan said that should council pursue plans to replace the bridge, they needed to accommodate the requirements of local farmers and landholders.

“As farm machinery gets bigger, replacement infrastructure needs to be thought about in the context of the 100-year life span of the bridge,” she said.

“I urge council to work with the Colbinabbin community to replace a bridge of equal span to the existing structure.”