Mount Alexander Shire Council logo
Skip Links

Vaughan-Tarilta bridges project

Photograph looking across the existing Vaughan-Tarilta floodway/ford.

This project is examining the replacement of an existing ford and 2 bridges near the township of Vaughan with new modern structures, which will greatly improve safety for residents and motorists and allow for heavy vehicle access for fire-fighting purposes, as well as access for waste collection and other community service vehicles.

Project summary

The existing timber bridge over the Loddon River was built in 1868 and has now reached the end of its life. The bridge is in poor condition and was converted to a pedestrian bridge approximately 10 years ago. At the same time a ford /floodway capable of allowing vehicles to cross the river was constructed further downstream. This crossing now, in addition to emergency fire trucks, also allows local residents access across the Loddon River.

Council is proposing to construct a new concrete low level structure capable of providing all weather access to all vehicles, not just 4 wheel drives. The new structure has been designed in accordance with all Australian Standards and when complete is capable of providing access to all heavy vehicles. The structure will also provide access for both pedestrians and cyclist and provide a new entrance to the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park.

Council is also examining options for the reconstruction or replacement of the Burgoyne Street road bridge and the existing timber pedestrian bridge.

Project aim

This project involves

• the design and construction of a low level structure to replace the existing floodway over the Loddon River;
• short term risk mitigation measures for the Burgoyne Street road bridge while Council undertakes a cost estimate for the total reconstruction of this bridge;
• Investigation of replacement or reconstruction options for the existing timber pedestrian bridge.

Design considerations

The design of the low level bridge has considered:

• The need to provide all weather access to all vehicles, not just 4 wheel drives.
• The need to provide access to all heavy vehicles.
• The need to provide access for both pedestrians and cyclists.
• Providing a new entrance to the Castlemaine Digging National Heritage Park.

Considerations for the Burgoyne Street road bridge include the need for a construction methodology that will allow the road to remain open whilst the new bridge is built.

The replacement or reconstruction of the existing timber pedestrian bridge will need to include considerations of the heritage overlay.

Where are we now

1. Low level bridge to replace the Floodway
Prior to construction commencing a licence must be obtained from Parks Victoria. This includes the completion of a Land Use Activity Agreement application and a Cultural Heritage Management Plan. Once granted the licence will enable construction to commence. Due to the passage of time, a revised costing for the construction of the bridge is underway which will inform future grant submissions.

Arrangements have been made for the placement of gravel, replacement of the flood markers, and signage installed restricting public access.

View the completed designs here.

2. The Burgoyne Street road bridge
Given the condition of this bridge short-term risk mitigation measures need to be adopted. The recommendation is to implement safe traffic control to guide vehicles to a central path across the bridge. To achieve this barriers will be placed on the bridge to restrict traffic to one central lane. The provision for pedestrian access will be provided behind the barriers.

A traffic safety audit will be undertaken to provide details of traffic control on the approaches to the bridge including signage such as Giveway and “One vehicle to cross at a time” and a number of speed restrictions signs.

View the proposed line making and signage plans here.

At this time no further load limits will be imposed on the bridge and some repair work will be undertaken to restrict further water egress through the bridge deck.

Council will also commence a high level cost estimate for a total rebuild to inform future grant opportunities which are being reviewed at this time.

3. Existing timber pedestrian bridge
A number of options are being explored and include:

• Repairing the existing bridge;
• Replacing the bridge;
• Constructing a new pedestrian bridge in another location

What happens next

Detailed costing are being prepared for the options above. This also includes exploration of the heritage conditions that may apply knowing that the timber pedestrian bridge is located in a Heritage Overlay. Requisite approvals and agreements with land owners are also being progressed.

Project manager

Graeme Barnes – Project Manager

Powered by