WORK has begun on installing a temporary crossing across Winburndale Rivulet after Howards Bridge was washed away in a storm last month.
Bathurst Regional Council expects work to take about two weeks before the bridge can be opened to all traffic.
But it has been no easy feat to arrange the temporary crossing.
Council general manager David Sherley, said there had been several factors that delayed a response.
This included consulting with the relevant government agencies that oversee bodies of water and finding people who were available to carry out the work.
“The option we have got in there seems to be now, what we felt, was the best possibility to get it in as quickly as possible, minimise the impacts on the environment and appeared to be the best option for getting through any necessary government approvals,” Mr Sherley said.
Given that developments around rivers need to be undertaken with caution, due to the potential for Aboriginal links, this was also a factor that affected the pace of implementing a temporary solution.
“Any works in the river, appropriate due diligence needs to be undertaken and this includes environmental factors as well as European and Aboriginal history,” Mr Sherley said.
Once completed, the temporary bridge will remain in place until a new, permanent bridge can be sourced.
“We’ll be seeking funds through disaster funding schemes to pay for the installation of a new bridge,” Mr Sherley said.
The timber deck of Howards Bridge, built in 1937, was washed away on January 12 after a severe storm hit the Bathurst region.
Traffic was immediately diverted via Box Ridge Road, however people soon started calling for a temporary path across Winburndale Rivulet to be made.
Residents’ abilities to source stock feed, bushfire risk and issues such as seeking medical treatment and getting children to school were among the concerns raised.