Bridge project already three months behind

THE $2.5 million Forest Road bridge duplication is in doubt after tenders failed to meet the budget.

Orange councillors will be briefed on the matter on Tuesday night.

However, mayor Reg Kidd said tenders were “way over” the money allocated by the state and federal governments to complete the project. 

“It was substantially over, that’s all I can say,” he said. 

The works involves building a second bridge over the railway line at the East Fork. 

The change would enable larger trucks to use the route. 

Work was due to start in September but Cr Kidd said he couldn’t see work starting this year.

“Even if we re-tendered, by the time we did that, it would be the Christmas period and that’s not the best time,” he said. 

Cr Kidd did not believe the funds could be diverted into another project and had no problem with sending a delegation to the state and federal governments asking for more funds. 

“It’s always been a problem area going over the bridge and it’s very, very narrow – sooner or later, it will need to be done,” he said. 

Eight-kilometre traffic diversions during the anticipated 12-month construction period had been a concern for businesses in the area and residents along Anson Street because the road would have taken much of the northbound traffic.

Councillors will not be able to resolve anything at the briefing and the item will be discussed publicly before Christmas.