MIDCOAST Council bridge crews completed construction on the new Dorney’s Bridge at Markwell last month.
The new concrete structure replaces an aging timber bridge that had deteriorated over the years, and had reached the end of its serviceable life.
Local resident Glen Dorney told News Of The Area, the old bridge had been there for longer than he can recall.
“It was there for at least 90-years, the old timers told me they can remember it when they were young,” he said.
“The old wooden one flooded about three or four times a year, and eventually, it just fell to bits.”
MidCoast Council Manager of Operations (South) Jamie Condie, said the new bridge has been lengthened and raised by about one metre, which will reduce the frequency of it becoming flooded during heavy rains.
“With the new design we’ve been able to facilitate a more natural flow path for the waterway, which will ultimately help improve the natural environment in this area,” he said.
“The new bridge provides a smoother and safer driving surface and will serve the local community for years to come, with far lower ongoing maintenance costs.”
Mr Dorney told News Of The Area, his extended family has had a long association with the Markwell area.
“My great, great, grandfather Daniel Dorney was the first to settle in this part of the region,” he said.
“Our family has always owned the land on the northern side of the river, and that’s why the bridge has always been known as Dorney’s Bridge.”
According to MidCoast Council, almost 40 percent of all bridges across the region are timber.
“Their age and condition often means ongoing repairs,” Mr Condie said.
“One of our priorities is to minimise maintenance costs by replacing them with newer, concrete structures.”
The replacement of Dorney’s Bridge is part of MidCoast Council’s commitment to improving infrastructure across the region.
By John SAHYOUN