REPAIR of the Nowra Creek suspension bridge, which suffered structural failure in June, could cost as much as $40,000.
Some of the cabling on the northern side of the suspension bridge broke, leaving the structure at a 45 degree angle.
A family of three, who had been enjoying a walk in the area, was trapped on the western side of the creek when it broke on June 30.
Director of Shoalhaven City Council’s Assets and Works, Ben Stewart said council staff had carried out investigations into the failure and a means of repairing the bridge to allow the full Ben’s Walk course to be utilised by the public.
“Council staff has undertaken a number of inspections of the bridge, and has been going through the design and redesign phase so repair work can be undertaken,” he said.
“The original footings of the structure are about two metres underground and staff has been looking at ways to redesign the structure to bring the pylons closer to surface.
“Part of the issue with what happened was because the footings were underground and they are not easily inspected.
“There was a sheering of some of the cabling that supports the structure.
“The redesign will allow the pylons and cabling to be more easily inspected.”
Consultants Jones and Nicholson have also been involved in the project, with Mr Stewart saying council is now in a position to engage a suitable contractor to repair the structure.
But part of that redesign and repair work has called for additional pylons to be drilled alongside the bridge to support the structure.
That requires specialist equipment, a pylon rig and a contractor who is able to undertake that type of work.
Gaining access to the site is also a problem, with the low-lying swampy area on the western side of the bridge being unsuitable for access for the large equipment and concrete trucks required to undertake the work.
Special access into the site will be required, adding to the cost of the repairs.
Council is in the process of getting quotes for the work and hopes to have the bridge back in service by the end of October.