NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

 

LATE AGENDA                                                                                        Page

 

 

 

  

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Request for Leave of Absence - Cr John Ainsworth (SF353)........................ 2  

11      Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

11.4   Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper..................................... 3

11.5   Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012.............................................................. 29    

 

 


 


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                            27 September 2012

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1      SF1714            270912         Notice of Motion - Request for Leave of Absence - Cr John Ainsworth (SF353)

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     John Ainsworth, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Councillor John Ainsworth seeks leave of absence from Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 October 2012 inclusive.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Cr John Ainsworth be granted leave of absence, in accordance with Section 234(d) of the Local Government Act, for the period Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 October 2012 inclusive.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1                 That leave be granted

2                 That leave not be granted

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.        


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                            27 September 2012

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.4    SF772              270912         Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services         

 

Summary:

 

This report seeks Council’s direction in preparing a submission which closes on the 8 October 2012 to the NSW State Government on the discussion paper “Funding Our Emergency Services” released by the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Baird MP and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon Michael Gallacher MLC.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council provide a submission to the discussion paper “Funding Our Emergency Services” as follows:

 

1        The Local Government contributions revenue sources associated with emergency services funding should be replaced by a property levy and not funded by Local Government;

2        A property levy should be raised as a percentage of the property value to ensure equity across the state;

3        To ensure equity a single rate of property levy should be applied across all of the different property types;

4        A single property levy rate should be applied across the entire State;

5        A proportion of emergency services funding should be raised as an annual charge on vehicle registration associated with motor vehicle accidents;

6        Pensioners should receive a concessional rate for a new property levy that funds emergency services;

7        An annual budget should be developed each year for the provision of emergency services, with any surplus set aside into a reserve and the State Government to take account of and also  fund the changing costs of fire and emergency services to ensure accountability across these services;

8        The revenue from a land based levy should be collected by the Office of State Revenue;

9        The introduction of a levy should commence at the beginning of a financial year with a two year transitional period with any potential funding gap incurred as a result of increased cost to be funded by the State Government; and

10      That State Government legislation be developed to ensure that any reductions in insurance taxes are passed on to consumers and monitored by the ACCC.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        Receive and note the report

2        Amend the recommendations to reflect the view of Council

3        Provide additional comments to the recommendations

 

 


DISCUSSION:

 

Background;

 

The 2012/13 budget contains Council’s contribution towards the Emergency Service Levy for the amount of $341,700.00 to as follows:

 

·           Emergency Service Levy for the State Emergency Service (SES) $30,000.00

·           Emergency Service Levy for the Rural Fire Service (RFS) $250,400.00

·           Emergency Service Levy for the NSW Fire and Rescue $61,300.00.

 

The Emergency Service Levy component for the RFS has been continually increased well beyond the rate pegging limit imposed by the State Government to the detriment of local infrastructure

 

The Local Government Shires Association (LGSA) developed a discussion paper in response to the ongoing concerns expressed by Councils in relation to their engagement with the NSW Rural Fire Service. The discussion paper was presented to Council on the 26 April 2012 for a formal submission to the LGSA where Council resolved “to write to the LGSA advising Council endorse Option 1 within the discussion paper “Retracting Local Governments operational involvement with the RFS.”

 

For the benefit of new Councillors a copy of the discussion paper is attached.

 

Council received a report on the 26 July 2012 advising that the NSW State Government had released a discussion paper “Funding Our Emergency Services” emanating from the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Baird MP and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon Michael Gallacher MLC and Council resolved the following:

 

That Council receive the NSW State Government discussion paper - Funding our Emergency Services and provide comment to the Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services by Friday 31 August 2012 to prepare a further report to Council to formalise a response to the State Government.”

 

A memo was circulated to the former Councillors seeking comments in response to the discussion paper questions. However, with the advent of Council elections, only two replies were received from the Mayor, Rhonda Hoban and Cr Elaine South and the author has pre-empted the recommendations for Council consideration.

 

Funding Our Emergency Services Discussion paper:

 

The Treasurer, Mike Baird MP and Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher MLC released a discussion paper on funding options for emergency services.  This review was promised in the lead-up to the 2011 election and was recently flagged in the 2012-13 Budget.  The public consultation period will run for three months through to 8 October 2012.

 

A copy of the Funding our Emergency Services discussion paper is attached.   Key points from the discussion paper include:

 

·              Funding for emergency services currently comes from three sources, with the bulk of funding (73.7%) provided by a tax on insurance companies, while the remainder of the funds are provided by local governments (11.7%) and the State Government (14.6%).

·              The current system has serious weaknesses and is economically inefficient.  Taxing insurance increases the price of insurance and can lead some people to under-insure and others not to insure at all.

·              The system is also unfair because people who are either not insured or are under-insured do not contribute to the funding of our emergency services, but still receive the same coverage as those who do pay insurance.

·              A better and fairer system would spread the costs across the whole community.

·              Recent reviews of the state tax system, including the Henry Tax Review, have recommended NSW moves to a property based levy to fund the emergency services.

·              All other mainland states either fund their emergency services using a property levy or are moving to do so.

·              The experience in Western Australia and South Australia has been that the resultant reduction in the cost of insurance has been passed onto customers.

 

The discussion paper contained ten specific questions that the State Government requests feedback on.  A brief comment by the author provides some background to the recommendations:

 

1        Which of the following revenue sources associated with emergency services funding should be replaced by a property levy:

 

a        The emergency services levy payments by insurers and the associated stamp duty;

b        Local government contributions; or

c        The portion of emergency services funding currently provided from general NSW government revenue?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 1 is based on (b) and Council’s resolution to retract from Local Government involvement with the RFS.

 

2        Should a property levy be raised as a fixed amount per property, as a proportion or percentage of property value, or some combination of the two?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 2 is based on a property value which will assist the low socio economic areas and rural Council Local Government Areas (LGA).

 

3        Should different rates of tax be applied to different property types?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 3 is based on a single rate for ease of implementation and reporting against that of multiple rates.

 

4        Should different tax rates be applied in different parts of the State? If revenue amounts are zoned geographically, where should the boundaries of those zones be?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 4 is based on a single rate across the State for ease of implementation and reporting and, in the case of being based on property value, should be more equitable for low socio economic areas and rural Council Local Government Areas (LGA).

 

5        Should some proportion of emergency services funding be raised as an annual charge on vehicle registration?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 5 is dependant on the locations across the State - agencies have varying leading roles with motor vehicle accidents (MVA).

 

6        Should pensioners receive concessional rates for a new property levy that funds emergency services?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 6 is self explanatory.

 

7        How should the revenue target be set each year to take account of changing costs of fire and emergency services?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 7 is based on the preface that each emergency service agency develops and administers their annual budget with any gap being funded by the State Government.

 

8        Should revenue from a land based levy be collected by local governments or the Office of State Revenue?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 8 prefers that the Office of State Revenue should be responsible for the collection as Local Government lacks staff resources to collect and reconcile fees.

 

9        Is a transitional period required for adjustment of the emergency services levy, and if so how should any funding gap arising from a transitional period be recovered?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 9 recognises that there is a potential that the levy developed is more excessive than the current costs to operate the emergency services across the state and a transition period should be considered.

 

10      What arrangements are needed to ensure that any reductions in insurance taxes are passed on to consumers?

 

Comment:   Recommendation 10 is self explanatory.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

Council

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment

 

Social

 

There are no social implications associated with this report.

 

Economic

 

The economic implications associated with the ability of Council to fund increased NSW RFS contributions may result in the reduction of Council services to Nambucca Valley communities.

 

Risk

 

There is the potential risk that the State Government may exorbitantly increase the key which will have an impost on property owners with the Nambucca Valley.

 

There will be no risk to Council, provided that the State Government fully fund and administer the Emergency Service Levy.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The 2012/13 budget contains the contribution for the Emergency Service Levy for the amount of $341,700.00 to as follows:

 

·           Emergency Service Levy for the SES $30,000.00

·           Emergency Service Levy for the RFS $250,400.00

·           Emergency Service Levy for the NSW Fire and Rescue $61,300.00

·           Council maintain the Nambucca Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) $6,400.00 (which incorporates the SES electricity and building insurance costs) and provide additional funding towards SES Vehicle expenses $7,000.00.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no variation to working funds attributed to this report

 

 

Attachments:

1View

9378/2012 - Discussion Paper- RFS

0 Pages

2View

24129/2012 - Further Discussion Paper - Revview of LG Engagement with the NSW RFS

0 Pages

3View

24181/2012 - Submission from the Mayor

0 Pages

4View

21121/2012 - Submission from Cr South

0 Pages

5View

24132/2012 - NSW Government to move to a better way of funding Emergency Services

0 Pages

6View

 - Circularised Document - Funding Our Emergency Services Discussion Paper

0 Pages

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 

Emergency Services Funding System  - Submission Response from   Cr Rhonda Hoban______ (insert name)

 

Questions

Response

1   Which of the following revenue sources associated with emergency services funding should be replaced by a property levy: optional

¨

X a. The emergency services levy payments by insurers and the associated stamp duty;

¨

X b. Local government contributions;

¨

X c. The portion of emergency services funding currently provided from general NSW government revenue.

2   Should a property levy be raised as: optional

¨

X A fixed amount per property, or

¨

As a proportion or percentage of property value, or

¨

Some combination of the two?

3   Should different rates of tax be applied to different property types? Optional

¨

Yes

¨

X No

Comments – optional

 No. Will only become an excuse for additional administration/bureaucracy and therefore additional cost 

 

4   Should different tax rates be applied in different parts of the state? If revenue amounts are zoned geographically, where should the boundaries of those zones be? optional

 

No. For reasons stated at Q3.

5   Should some proportion of emergency services funding be raised as an annual charge on vehicle registration? optional

 

No. It will be eroded in the same way road maintenance component of registration and fuel tax has been eroded.

6   Should pensioners receive concessional rates for a new property levy that funds emergency services? optional

¨

Yes

¨

No

Comments – optional

Not sure. Will depend on the amount of the subsidy and whether State will reimburse on permanent basis

7   How should the revenue target be set each year to take account of changing costs of fire and emergency services? optional

 

Should be based on previous years audited actual costs. Increases should be subject to rate peg or IPART determination.

8   Should revenue from a land based levy be collected by local governments or the Office of State Revenue? optional

¨

Local Governments

¨

X Office of State Revenue

 

Comments – optional Councils are already the unpaid tax collectors for the State and bear the brunt of criticism for increases in rates that are actually a result of State Government cost shifting.

9   Is a transitional period required for adjustment of the emergency services levy, and if so how should any funding gap arising from a transitional period be recovered? optional

¨

Yes

¨

No

Comments – optional    Unsure

10 What arrangements are needed to ensure that any reductions in insurance taxes are passed on to consumers? optional

 

Hopefully a competitive market will deal with this if insurers are no longer required to pay the levy or stamp duty.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 6

 

 

 

Emergency Services Funding - NSW Government Discussion Paper

 

 

 

Circularised Document - Funding Our Emergency Services Discussion Paper

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                            27 September 2012

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.5    SF768              270912         Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services         

 

Summary:

 

An onsite inspection was conducted with the residents at 11.30 am on Thursday 30 August 2012 and Council resolved at the Ordinary meeting later that evening:

 

That a further report be provided to the new Council giving consideration to the issues raised at the site inspection conducted on 30 August 2012 and a source of funds be identified for the option of reinstating a two lane bridge.”

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council consider the following:

 

1        Constructing a single lane bridge as budgeted for in the 2012/13 Management Plan.

 

2        (a) Defer the reconstruction of Weekes bridge to the 2013/14 financial year, or beyond, depending on a further assessment of the existing bridge and increase the vote in future budget(s) depending on the time frame for deferral.

 

          (b) Credit the works order for Weekes bridge (expenditure incurred to date) and place the bridge components into stock for reuse on other bridges.

 

3        Bring forward one or more single lane bridges within the bridge replacement program currently classified condition 4 or 5 up to the value of $325,000.00 in which the components for Weekes Bridge can be used with the final decision on these bridges being based on the completion of the condition assessments.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        Receive and note the report.

2        Reconstruct the bridge as a single lane bridge as budgeted for in the 2012/13 Management Plan.

3        Vote an additional $150,000 to build a two lane bridge.

4        Defer the reconstruction of the bridge to the 2013/14 financial year (or beyond) and increase the vote in future budget(s) depending on the time frame for deferral and credit the works order (expenditure incurred to date) and place the bridge components into stock.

5        Fund the additional $150,000 via:

a        $150,000 from 2012/13 general funds (this will have a detrimental effect when it is coupled with the reduction of $191,545 within the FAGS grant as reported to Council at the ordinary meeting held  26 July 2012).

b        $75,000 from 2012/13 general funds (effect similar to “a”) and $75,000 through bringing forward funding from the final year of the Roads To Recovery grant (R2R) which effectively will delete a road rehabilitation project from the final year and will result in a shortened R2R program (moving the issue forward associated with decrease in funding).

6        Reallocate the funding of Weekes bridge to Laverty’s bridge to raise and lengthen the bridge to provide greater flood proofing (consideration to load and speed limits on Weekes Bridge may be required).

7        Consider trialling the reduction in bridge deck width to one lane through traffic barriers, sign posting and road markings and monitor the effect.

8        Defer the replacement of Weekes Bridge and bring forward one or more bridge replacements currently classified condition 4 or 5 to the value of $325,000 within the bridge replacement program.

9        Undertake extensive maintenance on the bridge and defer the replacement of the bridge.

10      Eungai Bridge may potentially be constructed as a single lane bridge, there is a saving in expenditure as the budget has provision for the construction of a two lane bridge and this funding could be redirected to either Weekes or Laverty’s Bridge, as per option 6. This option is subject to consultation with the Eungai community or the savings be placed into a bridge reserve towards Weekes Bridge.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Following a delegation from Ms Joan Rossington in the public forum with respect to the decision to replace Weekes Bridge with a single lane bridge and concern surrounding the issue of sight distance onto the bridge (as it is located after a blind bend), at Council’s Ordinary meeting held 15 August 2012, Council resolved:

 

          “That the decision on Weekes Bridge be deferred to allow an onsite inspection and consultation with residents.  The inspection to occur at Council’s meeting on 30 August 2012.”

 

The onsite inspection was conducted with the residents on Thursday 30 August 2012 at 11.30 am and Council resolved at the Ordinary meeting later that evening:

 

          That a further report be provided to the new Council giving consideration to the issues raised at an site inspection conducted on 30 August 2012 and a source of funds be identified for the option of reinstating a two lane bridge.”

 

A Community Consultation Committee has been formed and the correspondence from the committee is attached for Council’s information. The comments raised in their correspondence dated 12 September 2012 has been addressed through the course of this report with the exception of the request to be supplied detailed estimates for a single and two lane bridge. Council has structured the bridge gang for replacing timber bridge structures across the Shire and base the estimates for bridges on “unit rates” established over a period of time.

 

The Committee identified a few alternatives for consideration as follows:

 

1        Build a two lane bridge that is the same width

 

This option is not permissible as the existing bridge width does not comply with the current design standards for a two lane bridge and there would be a substantial cost in amending the prefabricated concrete deck units to provide a bridge outside the relevant standards.

 

The replacement of the new two lane bridge structure will be wider than the existing bridge to meet the minimum two lane bridge standard having a deck width of 7.2m between kerbs. As a comparison the proposed single lane bridge will have a deck width of 4.4m between kerbs (which allows 600 mm edge clearance each side of the travel lane in accordance with the design standards for a single lane bridge).

 

2        Repair the bridge to extend its life

 

Council undertook maintenance on the bridge approximately 2 years ago with the knowledge that it was on the bridge replacement schedule for 2011/12. There are five new girders in the bridge that were placed to facilitate heavy traffic access across the bridge for work on another bridge to the west of Weekes Bridge.

 

Whilst the bridge is not in immediate danger of collapsing (a heavy load or unplanned happening has the potential to cause damage or closure of the bridge), economically it is not a recommended viable or sustainable solution to expend any further funds on the bridge when it is to be replaced.  Council’s Bridge Foreman has undertaken a basic inspection of the bridge on 20 September 2012 and it is estimated that the replacement of the bridge could potentially be deferred for a period of 12 -24 months. Deferral will need consideration of a potential load and a speed limit on the bridge and a full detailed inspection to ensure that the replacement of the bridge can be deferred for a period greater than 12 months.

 

3        Wait for funding to become available

 

This report encompasses various options for consideration and funding options with the manipulation of the bridge replacement program.  One or more single lane bridge projects that are classified as condition 4 or 5 could be brought forward to the value of $325,000.00.

 

Community consultation Thursday 30 August 2012:

 

A summary of the concerns raised by the community on Thursday 30 August 2012 is as follows:

 

·           The lack of consultation from Council with the community on the bridge;

·           Safety implications associated with a one lane bridge and the sight distance;

·           The cost comparison of a two lane versus a single lane bridge;

·           What happened to the funding that was identified for a two lane bridge in a forward plan;

·           The relevant standards; and

·           The community are opposed to the bridge being replaced with a single lane bridge.

 

Consultation:

 

It was acknowledged that there had been no consultation with the community as presented within the report to Council on 15 August 2012 and this was reaffirmed at the meeting on site. The first notification to Council in the consideration of reducing the bridge to one lane was provided at the meeting held on 12 May 2011 when Council considered the Draft 2011/12 Management Plan and Budget and the General Manager reported the following:

 

“To present a balanced budget, Council’s management is recommending the deletion or deferral of most new “bids” and some significant reductions and reallocations in existing programs.  It is an austerity budget……..The major changes which are recommended by Council’s management to the initial draft budget are as follows:

 

…..Item 6 The planned replacement of Weekes Bridge on South Arm Road with a single lane structure instead of a two lane structure (the existing bridge is 2 lane).  This is a reduction in service level and will provide a saving of $150,000”.

 

I advised Council at the meeting held on the 15 August, that I was relatively new to Council at the time of the budget preparation for 2011/12 and that there had been no community consultation leading up to the decision to replace the bridge with a single lane. The decision to reduce the bridge to a single lane emanated when the General Manager sought information from staff as to the cost of a single lane versus that of a two lane bridge to present a balance budget with other worthy competing projects.

 

An issue identified with the lack of communication with respect to Weekes Bridge:

 

·          is the timing parameters for the preparation of the 2011/12 budget which did not facilitate any public consultation and the need to present a balanced budget to Council. This is being remedied with the development of the 10 year forward works program and every endeavour is now made to provide adequate consultation across the activities of Council.

·          The reduction in programs are highlighted in the General Managers report on the draft budget to Council which outlines all of the considerations for funding of projects either removed/added or amended from consideration, however the process of advertising the draft budget may not adequately highlight these changes nor reach the affected community area.

 

In the 2012/13 draft budget the General Manager reported that the strategy from Council for tackling the financial issues are detailed on pages 12 and 13 of our Operational Plan and Delivery Program as follows:

 

"A balanced budget for 2012/2013 has only been achieved through the non-replacement of staff, additional borrowings and the deferral of required capital expenditure.  This is an unsustainable strategy.

 

The problem exists because Council's General Fund is being "squeezed" on the revenue side by rate pegging and on the cost side by depreciating infrastructure which has to be renewed and replaced in a timely way.  This infrastructure includes 170 bridges, 247km of sealed rural roads, 105km of urban streets and 345km of unsealed rural roads.  Inadequate funding of the depreciation of this infrastructure is the challenge for Council.  If the problem is left unattended, Council will fail in its core function of providing physical access to properties.

 

Cost shifting from the State Government such as through reduced regional road funding and increased contributions to the Rural Fire Service adds to the problem.  Council has to determine how it will reduce its services to a level which is financially sustainable.  In the latter part of 2012, Council will explore a number of measures that may help reduce its expenditure on infrastructure, including:

 

*  reduce the service level of bridges, with bridges going from two lane to single lane where possible”

 

Risk (or safety) implications:

 

The risks associated in reducing the bridge width to single lane cannot be eliminated but can be managed in accordance with Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices and AustRoads Rural Road Design Guide (ARRDG). Council therefore must decide on what level of risk is acceptable compared to the cost and social implications of its decision.

 

At the meeting on Thursday 30 August 2012 and in correspondence received by Council, the community raised their concerns that they believe that a single lane bridge will create a safety issue based on the inadequate sight distance to the approach of the bridge and the potential risk of a collision on the bridge.

 

It is recognised that there is an element of risk associated with the reduction of the bridge width to that of a single lane. When the decision was made to reduce the funding on the bridge and replace the existing two lane bridge with a single lane bridge, the Design Engineer referred to the various standards to ascertain whether the risk could be managed.

 

Following the onsite meeting on Thursday 30 August 2012 a numerical assessment was completed using the appropriate design standards (Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices and AustRoads Rural Road Design Guide (ARRDG) and the attached engineers report reinforces the initial assessment that the risk can be managed, although not totally eliminated through the use of selected engineering techniques based on the traffic volumes, geometric road design, traffic speed and type of vehicles.

 

Road geometry:

 

South Arm Road is generally serpentine through undulating country, The posted speed limit is 100 km/h however the road has not been designed for this speed, with many low radius curves. Advisory speed signs have not been installed and drivers are required to drive to the conditions and determine the safe travel speed for themselves and this evidenced through the recent traffic counts with the 85th percentile speed being 74.5 km/h west of the bridge and 70.6 km/h east of the bridge.

 

The eastern approach has a 170 metre radius curve and a crest approx 70 metres from the bridge with a steep embankment above the eastern side of the road.  From the crest to the bridge the road has an 8% longitudinal fall on a bitumen surface at the approaches with the sealed surface approx 6m wide.

 

The western approach is across a flat flood plain with a 105 metre radius curve approx 100 metres from the bridge. To the west sight distance is approx 200 metres and can be improved by regular mowing of the western verge. To the east sight distance is restricted by the crest, the curve and the embankment.

 

The residents requested verification that the proposed engineering techniques for a one lane bridge adequately accounted for the sight distance issues on the eastern approach to the bridge  An analysis of stopping sight distances (SSD) and appropriate vehicle speeds for cars and trucks/buses on the eastern approach has been undertaken in accord with the recommendations of AustRoads Rural Road Design Guide (ARRDG).

 

Traffic volume:

 

Council use traffic counters to obtain the traffic volume flows across the local road network, these traffic counts are then used as a guide to determine the hierarchy of the road network, frequency of use and consideration of maintenance and construction treatments and designs of the pavement.

 

In determining the reduction to a single lane bridge the utilisation on the road is one of the factors considered, A projected flow of 180 vehicles per day was assumed for design purposes due to the last traffic count being four years old  Traffic counts for South Arm Road were taken from Menzies Road towards the bridge (166 vehicles per day in 1997) and a count taken later between Williams Hill and Menzies Road (167 vehicles per day in 2008) which indicates little change in traffic movements.

 

Council installed two traffic counters for a 14 day period from 5 September to 19 September to obtain updated values of vehicle usage on the road.

 

Located 200m west of the bridge 110 vehicles per day (AADT)

                                                         1.4% being heavy vehicle movement

                                                         85% speed 74.5 km/h

 

Located 300m east of the bridge 124 vehicles per day (AADT)

                                                         1.9 % being heavy vehicle movement

                                                         85% speed 70.6 km/h

Notation:

 

·           The counts are lower than the counts taken in 1997 and 2008.

·           The variance between the two recent counts (124 east  to 110 west) is based on property access between the two counters.

·           The highest travel periods are between the hours of 7.00 -11.00 am and 2.00 -5.00 pm.

·           It was observed from the readings that a vehicle had travelled the eastern section of road at 100 km/h.

 

The latest available traffic counts for this location indicate an Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) of 110 vehicle movements per day west of the bridge both directions and 124 vehicle movements per day east of the bridge both directions.  The Australian Standard for Traffic Control Devices (AS1742.2-2009) Clause 4.6.2.2(b) states that for bridges less than 60 metres long, GIVE WAY signs are not required for single lane bridges with an AADT less than 200.  The low AADT means that conflict with oncoming vehicles at the bridge would be rare and drivers would be required to concede right of way to vehicles already on the bridge.

 

Sight distance - is the length of roadway ahead that is visible to the driver. The available sight distance on a roadway should be sufficiently long to enable a vehicle travelling at or a near the design speed to stop before reaching a stationary object in its path. Although greater lengths of visible roadway are desirable, the sight distance at every point along a roadway should be at least that needed for a below-average driver or vehicle to stop.

 

Decision sight distance - is the distance required for a driver to detect an unexpected or otherwise difficult-to-perceive information source, recognise the source, select an appropriate speed and path, and initiate and complete the required manoeuvre safely and efficiently. Because decision sight distance gives drivers additional margin for error and affords them sufficient length to manoeuvre their vehicles at the same or reduced speed rather than to just stop, its values are substantially greater than stopping sight distance.

 

Four options have been assessed for a single lane bridge, identifying risks and possible mitigation measures within the attached report:

 

1        Single lane bridge with no Give Way sign

2        Single lane bridge with Give Way sign on the eastern approach

3        Single lane bridge with Give Way sign on the western approach

4        Single lane bridge with Give Way sign on the both approaches

 

The potential risk of an accident on Weekes Bridge:

 

The risks associated in reducing the bridge width to single lane cannot be eliminated but can be managed in accordance with Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices and AustRoads Rural Road Design Guide (ARRDG).

 

A single lane bridge creates an element of risk of a head on collision of vehicles on the bridge. The SSD have been calculated for west bound vehicles sighting a east bound vehicle as it arrives at the western end of the bridge. The distance has been calculated for the west bound vehicle to stop 25 metres before the eastern end of the bridge. The stopping sight distance for cars is 77 metres and for trucks 82 metres. By reshaping of the embankment within the road reserve the truck SSD could be increased to 105 metres. These distances equate to a travel speed of 68 km/h for cars and 62 km/h for trucks. The 170 metre radius curve has approx 3% cross fall and according to ARRDG the safe travel speed is approx 70 km/h.

 

If a west bound vehicle was stopped to give way to an oncoming vehicle the risk exists of another west bound vehicle being responsible for a rear end collision. Given the most recent AADT and past AADT this situation of 3 vehicles arriving at the bridge at the same time would be rare. The worst scenario (and one that has been expressed by the residents) would be for the school bus to be stopped and a truck to come from behind or vice versa.

 

The SSD has been calculated for vehicles stopping at the back of a 12 metre bus or truck, stopped 25 metres before the bridge. With reshaping of the bank the SSD for cars would be 65 metres and trucks or buses 82 metres. The equivalent safe travel speeds would be 58 km/h for cars and 53 km/h for trucks. It should be noted that these distances are calculated to the tail lights (600mm above the road surface) to allow for night traffic movements. The school bus however travels normally during daylight hours and the back of a bus or truck is visible more than 2.5 metres above the road. This increases the actual sight distance to the back of a bus or truck during daylight hours.

 

Risk Mitigation Measures:

 

The following measures will not eliminate the risk but manage the risk based on the vehicle movements:

 

·      Line marking and signage as recommended by AS1742.2-2009 Clause 4.6.2.2(a)(i) & (ii).

·      Reduce the speed limit for 500 metres before and after the bridge to 60 km/h.

·      Install REDUCE SPEED ONE LANE BRIDGE AHEAD signs on both approaches.

·      To reinforce the speed reduction, ripple bars could be installed on the road surface before the curve on the eastern approach.  This will increase Council’s inspection and maintenance responsibilities in this area to ensure ongoing risk mitigation.

·      Resurfacing of the road would ensure the friction factors are at or above those assumed in the ARRDG stopping distance calculations. (NOTE – it was intended to complete a reseal of the pavement once the bridge and abutments were completed, this is separate funding under the reseal program).

 

Bridge replacement program:

 

The reconstruction of Weekes Bridge on South Arm Road was identified in Council’s bridge replacement program for the 2011/12 financial year.  Provision of $325,000 was allocated in the 2011/12 budget to build a single lane bridge following Council’s adoption of the budget.

 

The bridge was scheduled for replacement before the end of the 2011/12 financial year through the months of May/June 2012 following the completion of Johns’s Bridge.  Due to the adverse weather experienced across the Shire, the entire bridge construction program was adversely affected and delayed the reconstruction of Weekes Bridge. All of the bridge components were ordered in the 2011/12 budget and stored at the Works Depot with the revote for 2012/13 encompassing labour and machinery only.

 

Work was scheduled to commence on 27 August 2012 with a favourable weather forecast, however work has been placed on hold pending Council’s decision. As an interim measure the bridge gang has been redeployed onto bridge maintenance work, however a decision is now required otherwise the bridge program for 2012/13 is in jeopardy of not being completed.

 

For Council to maintain a balanced budget for the 2012/13 and not draw on general funds at the detriment of other infrastructure projects the only option for funding the two lane bridge is to amend the bridge replacement program by:

 

·           Defer the reconstruction of Weekes bridge to the 2013/14 financial year or beyond and increase the vote in future budget(s) depending on the time frame for deferral.

·           Credit the works order (expenditure incurred to date) and place the bridge components into stock.

·           Bring forward one or more single lane bridges within the bridge replacement program currently classified as condition 4 or 5 up to the value of $325,000.00 in which the components for Weekes Bridge can be used. Candidate bridges may consist of Millers Bridge (currently has a 10T load limit impeding access for residents), Swans, Garrett’s and Top Bridges which are all on the program for the next three financial years. Final decision will be based on the completion of condition assessments currently in progress.

·           In the event that Eungai Bridge is constructed as a single lane bridge, the anticipated saving in expenditure could be placed into a reserve towards the construction of Weekes Bridge.  (NOTE: This option is subject to consultation with the Eungai community and may receive the same reaction from the community as Weekes Bridge)

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

Mayor and Councillors

Manager Civil Works

Manager Assets

Engineering Designer

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

 

 

Sustainability Assessment Factors

Option

Financial

Environmental

Social

Economic

Risk

Two Lane Bridge

û

[

ü

[

ü

Single Lane Bridge

ü

[

û

[

[

 

û   Not acceptable                    ü   Acceptable               [   Can be managed     

 

Financial:

 

Based on the number of ageing bridges requiring replacement across the Shire, the economic funding issues associated with rate pegging, working to a balanced budget and external state government funding factors such as the continued increase NSW Rural Fire Service charges, Council began a review of the levels of service within the bridge program and where feasible considered the construction of single lane bridges.

 

Financially the single lane option is preferable to Council given the current budget position, reduction in FAG funding and the desired position of establishing a balanced budget, and funding the additional $150,000 is at the detriment of the current and or future infrastructure programs.

 

The decision to reduce the bridge to one lane is based on economical savings and presenting a balanced budget with other competing programs, rate pegging and State Government cost shifting. The replacement cost of a two lane bridge is $475,000 compared to that of a single lane bridge at $325,000. In considering the reduction in allocation, the issue of safety is addressed through the design parameters and appropriate road signage and markings in accordance with the Australian Standards.

 

Council’s Timber Bridge Replacement Infrastructure Planning Program identified the replacement cost of a two lane bridge for Weekes Bridge at $475,000 funded by external loans. The $150,000 has not been reallocated elsewhere across Council activities and there are also savings attributed on the interest that would have been payable on the loan.  The reduction in service level to that of a single lane bridge is a net reduction in Councils’ budget by $150,000.

 

There are no Federal or State Government grant programs for bridges on local roads.  The Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) provides a 4% interest rate discount on approved capital works and Council is utilising the LIRS funding to replace Eungai and Laverty's Bridges.

 

If the replacement of the bridge is deferred and replaced with a two lane structure, the additional expenditure will result in something else being pushed back in the bridge replacement program and presumably increasing the risk of an unscheduled bridge failure. 

 

Council’s resolution sought the identification and source of funds for the option of reinstating a two lane bridge for Council to maintain a balanced budget for the 2012/13 the options open for consideration are:

 

·            Vote an additional $150,000 to build a two lane bridge via

a        $150,000 from 2012/13 general funds (this will have a detrimental effect when it is coupled with the reduction of $191,545 within the FAGS grant (as reported to Council at the ordinary meeting held  26 July 2012).

b        $75,000 from 2012/13 general funds (effect similar to “a”) and $75,000 through bringing forward funding from the final year of the roads to recovery grant (R2R) which effectively will delete a road rehabilitation project from the final year and will result in a shortened R2R program (moving the issue forward associated with decrease in funding).

·           Defer the reconstruction of the bridge to the 2013/14 financial year (or beyond) and increase the vote in future budget (s) depending on the time frame for deferral and credit the works order (expenditure incurred to date) and place the bridge components into stock and bring forward one or more bridge replacements with the condition 4 or 5 assessment within the bridge replacement program to the value of $325,000.

·           Eungai Bridge may potentially be constructed as a single lane bridge, there is an anticipated saving in expenditure as the budget has provision for the construction of a  two lane bridge and this funding could be redirected to either Weekes or Laverty’s Bridge. This option is subject to consultation with the Eungai community

 

The recent quotations received for the supply of timber components for bridges (girders etc) have increased in price by approximately 18% on the contracts awarded for the supply in 2010.  These increases will have an effect on the construction costs for future budgets including Weekes if the bridge is deferred.

 

Environmental

There are no significant environmental factors relating to either option, and certainly no major differentiation between the options on environmental grounds.

 

Social

It is clear that from a social perspective the option of a two lane bridge is the only acceptable option to the local community.  This view needs to be considered in light of the broader social landscape of the Shire as a whole.

 

Economic

There are no significant economic factors relating to either option, and certainly no major differentiation between the options on economic grounds.

 

Risk

The risks associated in reducing the bridge width to single lane can not be eliminated but can be managed in accordance with Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices and AustRoads Rural Road Design Guide (ARRDG). Council therefore must decide on what level of risk is acceptable compared to the cost and social implications of its decision.

 

With all Council’s activities there is an emphasis placed onto risk management and whether the risk can be mitigated or managed satisfactory. Compliance with the Australian Standards is seen as “best practice” in the industry for products and services in the Australian market, and is normally voluntary unless the products or services are regulated by the Government.

 

The reconstruction option of a two lane bridge provides the least risk to Council in terms of potential traffic issues.  The higher risks associated with a single lane bridge can be managed to an tolerable level, but not eliminated entirely, through control measures such as signage, line marking and reduced speed limits.

 

Council has about 35 bridges listed in Council’s Asset Management Plan that are classified in condition 4 (poor condition requiring close monitoring) and about 10 bridges classified in condition 5 (very poor - failure imminent). Weekes Bridge is one of 45 bridges listed in these condition ratings.

 

Council undertook maintenance on the bridge approximately 2 years ago in order to facilitate the replacement of a flood damaged bridge located further along South Arm Road and with the knowledge that it was on the bridge replacement schedule for 2011/12.  Economically it is not a recommended viable or sustainable solution to expend any further funds on the bridge when it is to be replaced.  Whilst the bridge is not in immediate danger of collapsing Council’s Bridge Foreman has undertaken a basic inspection of the bridge on 20 September 2012 and it is estimated that the replacement of the bridge could be potentially deferred for a period of 12 -24 months.  Deferral will need consideration of a potential load and speed limit on the bridge and a full detailed inspection to ensure that the replacement of the bridge can be deferred for a period greater than 12 months.

 

Summary

Overall, the single lane option provides the best solution from a financial perspective to Council and manages risk at a tolerable level.  The social discontent with this option is largely due to the increased risk associated with this option.  It is clear that the only acceptable option from a social perspective is the two lane option, however this social acceptance (and related reduction in risk exposure) comes at a cost.  This is Council’s dilemma balancing the conflicting factors, and ultimately that becomes a political decision.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There will be a direct impact on the 2012/13 budget to construct a two lane bridge associated with the additional $150,000 required, and alternatively if the bridge program is amended to defer the reconstruction of Weekes Bridge.

 

An amendment can be made to the bridge program by deferring the construction of Weekes Bridge by bringing forward other projects to the value of $325,000.00 which will have a NIL impact on the current 2012/13 financial budget.  However this could potentially impact the 2013/14 budget or beyond.

 

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There will be a variation to working funds attributed to either a positive or marginally negative impact depending on the bridges chosen in lieu of Weekes Bridge.

 

 

Attachments:

1View

21690/2012 - Weekes Bridge Reconstruction Council Report 30 August 2012

0 Pages

2View

23895/2012 - Weekes Bridge Replacement - Advice that Community Consultation Committee has been formed and issues arising from meeting with Council

0 Pages

3View

 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENTS
Email from Chezmar Bus Service (Trim BR-BV-2: 22406/2012)

0 Pages

4View

 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT
Plans - Bridge Design Details, Bridge Approaches Plan & Long Section, Signage, Linemarking & Guardrail provided for new Councillors only. Were previously supplied to all Councillors with the 30 August 2012 report.

0 Pages

5View

 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENTS Item 11.5
Engineering Designers Report on Weekes Bridge
(Trim BR-BV-2: 24709/2012)

0 Pages

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11 .3   SF768              300812         Weekes Bridge Reconstruction

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services         

 


 

Summary:

 

Following a delegation from Ms Joan Rossington on the Replacement of Weekes Bridge, South Arm at Council’s Ordinary meeting held 15 August 2012, Council resolved;

 

That the decision on Weekes Bridge be deferred to allow an onsite inspection and consultation with residents.  The inspection to occur at Council’s meeting on 30 August 2012.

 

An onsite inspection with residents is scheduled for Council at 11.30am on Thursday 30 August 2012.

 

 


 

Recommendation:

 

That Council receive and note the report on the Weekes Bridge reconstruction.

 

 


 

OPTIONS:

 

Under the provisions of Caretaker Mode any decision to vote additional funds towards the bridge would need to be deferred to the incoming Council which may necessitate another site inspection and report to Council on the matter.

 

1        Receive and note the report

2        Reconstruct the bridge as a single lane bridge using ’92 AUSTROADS BRIDGE Design Code

3        Vote an additional $150,000 to build a two lane bridge using Australian Standard AS 5100 (2004) Bridge Design Code

4        Defer the reconstruction of the bridge to the 2012/13 financial year and increase the vote and credit the works order (expenditure incurred to date) and place the bridge components into stock

5        Fund the additional $150,000 via

          a)       $150,000 from 2012/13 general funds (this will have a detrimental effect when it is coupled with the reduction of $191,545 within the FAGS grant (as reported to Council at the ordinary meeting held  26 July 2012)

          b)       $75,000 from 2012/13 general funds (effect similar to “a”) and $75,000 through bringing forward funding from the final year of the roads to recovery grant (R2R) which effectively will delete a rehabilitation project from the final year and will result in a shortened R2R program (moving the issue forward associated with decrease in funding)

6        Reallocate the funding of Weekes bridge to Laverty’s bridge to raise and lengthen the bridge to provide greater flood proofing (Consideration to load limiting the bridge maybe required)

7        Consider trialling the reduction in bridge deck to one lane through traffic barriers, sign posting and road markings and monitor the effect and install traffic counters to update the traffic counts

7        Bring another small bridge to the value of $325,000 forward within the program

8        Undertake extensive maintenance on the bridge and defer the replacement

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Ms Joan Rossington from South Arm Road addressed Council in the public forum on Wednesday 15 August 2012 with respect to the decision to replace Weekes Bridge with a single lane bridge and raised concern around the issue of sight distance onto the bridge as it is located after a blind bend.

 


Community consultation:

 

The first notification to Council in the consideration of reducing the bridge to one lane was provided at the meeting held on 12 May 2011 when Council considered the Draft 2011/12 Management Plan and Budget and the General Manager reported the following:

 

“To present a balanced budget, Council’s management is recommending the deletion or deferral of most new “bids” and some significant reductions and reallocations in existing programs.  It is an austerity budget……..The major changes which are recommended by Council’s management to the initial draft budget are as follows:

 

…..Item 6 The planned replacement of Weekes Bridge on South Arm with a single lane structure instead of a two lane structure (the existing bridge is 2 lane).  This is a reduction in service level and will provide a saving of $150,000”.

 

I advised Council at the meeting held on the 15 August, that I was relatively new to Council at the time of the budget preparation for 2011/12 and that there had been no community consultation leading up to the decision to replace the bridge with a single lane. The decision to reduce the bridge to a single lane emanated when the General Manager sought information from staff as to the cost of a single lane versus that of a two lane bridge to present a balance budget with other worthy competing projects

 

An issue identified with the lack of communication with respect to Weekes Bridge:

 

·            is the timing parameters for the preparation of the 2011/12 budget which did not facilitate any public consultation and the need to present a balanced budget to Council. This is being remedied with the development of the 10 year forward works program and every endeavour is now made to provide adequate consultation across the activities of Council.

·            The reduction in programs are highlighted in the General Managers report on the draft budget to Council which outlines all of the considerations for funding of projects either removed/added or amended from consideration, however the process of advertising the draft  budget may not highlight these changes nor may it reach the all of the public.

 

In the 2012/13 draft budget the General Manager report that the strategy from Council for tackling the financial issues are detailed on pages 12 and 13 of our Operational Plan and Delivery Program as follows:

 

"A balanced budget for 2012/2013 has only been achieved through the non-replacement of staff, additional borrowings and the deferral of required capital expenditure.  This is an unsustainable strategy.

 

The problem exists because Council's General Fund is being "squeezed" on the revenue side by rate pegging and on the cost side by depreciating infrastructure which has to be renewed and replaced in a timely way.  This infrastructure includes 170 bridges, 247km of sealed rural roads, 105km of urban streets and 345km of unsealed rural roads.  Inadequate funding of the depreciation of this infrastructure is the challenge for Council.  If the problem is left unattended, Council will fail in its core function of providing physical access to properties.

 

Cost shifting from the State Government such as through reduced regional road funding and increased contributions to the Rural Fire Service adds to the problem.  Council has to determine how it will reduce its services to a level which is financially sustainable.  In the latter part of 2012, Council will explore a number of measures that may help reduce its expenditure on infrastructure, including:

*  reduce the service level of bridges, with bridges going from two lane to single lane where possible

 

Bridge replacement program:

 

The reconstruction of Weekes Bridge on South Arm Road was identified in Council’s bridge replacement program for the 2011/12 financial year.  Provision of $325,000 was allocated in the 2011/12 budget to build a single lane bridge following Council’s adoption of the budget 

 

The bridge was scheduled for replacement before the end of the 2011/12 financial year through the months of May/June 2012 following the completion of Johns’s Bridge.  Due to the adverse weather experienced across the Shire, the entire bridge construction program was adversely affected and delayed the reconstruction of Weekes Bridge. All of the bridge components were ordered in the 2011/12 budget and stored at the Works Depot with the revote for 2012/13 encompassing labour and machinery only.

 

The weather forecast was favourable for work to commence on 27 August 2012 as a side track is required to be constructed to maintain access, however work has now been deferred pending the decision of Council following the site inspection. In the interim the bridge gang has been redeployed onto bridge maintenance.

 

Supply of bridge components:

 

Due to the production lead time required for the supply of bridge components, orders are now placed with suppliers some six months in advance of the budget and the items placed into store and booked out when works are scheduled to commence.

 

The bridge components for Weekes Bridge were ordered in the 2011/12 budget and stored at the Works Depot with the revote for 2012/13 encompassing labour and machinery only. In the event that the replacement of the bridge is deferred, the components would be credited back to the stores and most probably redirected to other works.

 

Condition of the bridge:

 

Council has about 35 bridges listed in Councils Asset Management Plan that are classified in condition 4 (poor condition requiring close monitoring) and about 10 bridges classified in condition 5 (very poor - failure imminent). Weekes Bridge is one of 45 bridges listed in these condition ratings

 

Council undertook minor maintenance on the bridge approximately 2 years ago with the knowledge that it was on the bridge replacement schedule for 2011/12. Economically it is not a recommended viable or sustainable solution to expend any further funds on the bridge when it is to be replaced.  Whilst the bridge is not in immediate danger of collapsing substantial work and/or a potential load limit on the bridge would need to be considered to ensure that the replacement of the bridge can be deferred.  .

 

Funding:

 

Councils Timber Bridge Replacement Infrastructure Planning Program identified the replacement cost of a two lane bridge for Weekes Bridge at $475,000 funded by external loans. The $150,000 has not been reallocated elsewhere across Council activities and there are also savings attributed on the interest that would have been payable on the loan.  The reduction in service level to that of a single lane bridge is a net reduction in Councils budget by $150,000  

 

There are no Federal or State Government grant programs for bridges on local roads.  The Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) provides a 4% interest rate discount on approved capital works and Council is utilizing the LIRS funding to replace the Eungai and Laverty's Bridges.

 

If the replacement of the bridge is deferred and replaced with a two lane structure, the additional expenditure will result in something else being pushed back in the bridge replacement program and presumably increasing the risk of an unscheduled bridge failure. 

 

The decision to reduce the bridge to one lane is based on economical savings and presenting a balance budget with other competing programs, rate pegging and state government cost shifting. The replacement cost of a two lane bridge is $475,000 compared to that of a single lane bridge at $325,000. In considering the reduction in allocation, the issue of safety is addressed through the design parameters and appropriate road signage and markings in accordance with the Australian Standards. (Consideration is also being given in the design to battering the embankments on the eastern approach to assist with site distance)

 


Bridge design:

 

Based on the number of aging bridges requiring replacement across the Shire, the economic funding issues associated with rate pegging, working to a balanced budget and external state government funding factors such as the continued increase RFS charges, Council began a review of the levels of service within the bridge program and where feasible considered the construction of single lane bridges.

 

’92 AUSTROADS BRIDGE Design Code and the updated Australian Standard AS 5100 (2004) Bridge Design Code both state that the road bridge carriage way widths are determined by the Authority (Council) based on consistent levels of service along the section of roadway taking into account

a)       Road geometry

b)       Traffic volumes

c)       Bridge locality

The updated Australian Standard AS 5100 (2004) Bridge Design Code has been developed to facilitate design and build contracts and therefore does not comment on the economic considerations of the local Authority, whereas the ’92 AUSTROADS BRIDGE Design Code principles are based on projects administered by the infrastructure owners (Council)

 

With all Council’s activities there is an emphasis placed onto risk management and whether the risk can be mitigated or managed satisfactory. Compliance with the Australian Standards is seen as “best practice” in the industry for products and services in the Australian market, and is normally voluntary unless the products or services are regulated by the Government.

 

The risk when using the ’92 AUSTROADS BRIDGE Design Code  is addressed through the consideration of traffic counts, location of the site and the usage of signage and road markings for one lane bridges in accordance with Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices.

 

Council use traffic counters to obtain the traffic volume flows across the local road network, these traffic counts are then used as a guide to determine the hierarchy of the road network, frequency of use and consideration of maintenance and construction treatments and designs of the pavement.

 

In determining the reduction to a single lane bridge the utilisation on the road is one of the factors considered, A projected flow of 180 vehicles per day has been assumed for design purposes due to the last traffic count being four years old  Traffic counts for South Arm Road were taken from Menzies Road towards the bridge (166 vehicles per day in 1997) and a count taken later between Williams Hill and Menzies Road (167 vehicles per day in 2008) which indicates little change in traffic movements..

 

At the Council meeting held on 15 August 2012, a traffic comparison was made between Weekes bridge and the newly constructed bridge at Deep Creek. I was advised by the General Manager that the traffic counts referenced for Deep Creek Bridge in discussion prior to the Council meeting were up to 1000 vehicles per day and this was relayed verbally at the meeting. The actual count has been verified and is 431 vehicles per day (over double that of Weekes Bridge) and are 8 years old (taken prior to the bridge being closed and possibly heavy influenced by traffic movements to the local quarry) Council has not taken any recent traffic counts on this road since the bridge was reopened to traffic

 

Council adhere to best practice guidelines when using either the ’92 AUSTROADS BRIDGE Design Code or Australian Standard AS 5100 (2004) Bridge Design Code Both codes in conjunction with Australian Standard 1742.2 (2009) Uniform Traffic Control devices allows the consideration in the reduction of service levels on a case by case basis following consideration of the road geometry, traffic volumes and the bridge locality (using this philosophy consideration of single or double lane bridge replacement within the Shire will be on a case by case basis)

 

 


CONSULTATION:

 

·           General Manager

·           Mayor

·           Manager Assets

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental implications associated with this report.

 

Social

 

There are social implications in the event the bridge is closed as it is to only access to this area.

 

Economic

 

The are economic implications associated with this report attributed to the perceived risk of accidents attributed to the narrowing of the bridge to one lane, The bridge construction and signage will be accordance with Australian Standards (and will consider the battering of the eastern approach batters).

 

Risk

 

The are risk implications associated with the narrowing of the bridge with respect to the sight distance onto the bridge, The vehicle counts for this area are projected at 180 vehicles a day with the majority of traffic movements being in the morning and evening (to and from work and school etc). The approach signage and road markings to denote a narrow bridge will be accordance with the Australian Standards.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There will be a direct impact on the 2012/13 budget to construct a two lane bridge associated with the additional $150,000 required, and alternatively if the bridge program is amended to defer the reconstruction of Weekes Bridge.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The will a variation to working funds required for additional funding

 

 


Attachments:

1

 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT  - Plans - Bridge Design Details, Bridge Approaches Plan & Long Section, Signage, Linemarking & Guardrail

0 Pages

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 




Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 3

 

 

 

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENTS / Email from Chezmar Bus Service (Trim BR-BV-2: 22406/2012)

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 4

 

 

 

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT / Plans - Bridge Design Details, Bridge Approaches Plan & Long Section, Signage, Linemarking & Guardrail provided for new Councillors only. Were previously supplied to all Councillors with the 30 August 2012 report.

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 September 2012

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 5

 

 

 

Weekes Bridge Reconstruction - September 2012

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENTS Item 11.5 / Engineering Designers Report on Weekes Bridge / (Trim BR-BV-2: 24709/2012)