During the planning and design stages of the Sandy Creek Bridge on the High Country Rail Trail, the arm of Lake Hume over which the old railway bridge passed was dry and had been so for the previous five years. Planning included lifting sections of the new bridge into place using a crane situated on the dry lake bed.
As bad luck would have it, the drought-breaking rains Victoria received during 2010 raised water levels in the lake, forcing a rethink on the construction methods to be used almost immediately after Towong Council won the grant to build the bridge in July last year.
The 600 metre bridge will now be constructed using a barge to transport the 26-tonne concrete bridge beams from the bank to the pillars where a gantry crane will lift the 18 metre sections into place.
Construction of the $1.6M bridge will take about six months commencing before Christmas this year allowing High Country Rail trail users to enjoy the new bridge by next Spring.