Works scheduled to start this Tuesday to let livestock trucks pass under the Deepwater River railway bridge have been postponed.
Traffic had been diverted via Bezzants Road because a bridge on Ten Mile Road, 10km west of the New England Highway, was closed for structural instability.
Trailer trucks and other large vehicles, however, could not use the route, because the Deepwater River railway bridge crossed over the road at a low level, obstructing vehicles over 4.4 metres.
Council initially sought to have the relevant spans of the rail bridge removed so vehicles could pass under, or to install a sidetrack over the rail line south of the bridge.
They discovered that the railway bridge, long disused, was in an advanced state of decay, and that ballast rock may fall through onto the road.
Engineering contractors John Holland Rail – who operate and maintain the line on behalf of Transport for NSW – proposed that the spans be removed, in lieu of a level crossing elsewhere on Bezzants Road.
Council would not have to foot the bill; John Holland would fully fund the removal project;
John Holland had planned to employ private contractors to have bridge spans removed. The work, scheduled for today, was meant to take five or six days.
Due to public feedback, however, John Holland will not begin work until further investigations are undertaken.
Council is investigating options to fully replace the bridge on Ten Mile Road.
"The bridge is a vital link for a lot of property owners out there to get their stock along the road," a spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure Services said.
The bridge is unlikely to be reopened within the next six months, however.
Further updates will be provided via Council's Facebook Page and website as they become available.