Wytaliba road closed as ADF prepares for bridge repair

The road into Wytaliba will be closed tomorrow to allow ADF's heavy vehicles to effect repairs on the temporary ford access to the village.

Old Grafton Road, the village's main road, will be closed from the Gwydir highway to the bridge from 9am to 2.45pm on Wednesday February 12.

The closure will allow defence force heavy vehicles to move back and forth to and from the Mann river crossing which is the main entrance to Wytaliba. The bridge over the river was knocked out by last years' deadly Kangawalla bushfire.

One of their first biggest tasks will be to rebuild the village bridge.

Initially the plan was to install a temporary 'Bailey' bridge, but after reconnaissance it's discovered that isn't an option.

Instead the Glen Innes Severn council has organised to install a single 12 metre portable bridge to be installed over the river.

Over coming days the army will build a crane pad in order to allow that to happen.

The temporary bridge will be installed on what is currently the temporary ford across the Mann by Glen innes crane contractor Jay Weir.

Council director of infrastructure services Keith Appleby hopes the job will be done by next weekend "weather permitting".

That will give council enough time to build a permanent bridge, a process that might take about a year.

In a media release today, local MP Adam Marshall said a permanent bridge is more important than ever, with the council's temporary ford washed out on no less than four occasions

"Wytaliba is currently experiencing the absolute worst mother nature has to offer with bushfires destroying homes and now heavy rain cutting access to the Old Grafton Road," he said.

"Unfortunately the scale of devastation to public property caused by these fires is far beyond the capabilities of what local government is able to clean up and respond to. I thank the ADF for providing its specialised skills to ease this particular burden on Glen Innes Severn Council.

"I want to thank Council, the ADF and the community for working together and I'm hopeful it won't be long before we start to see new homes starting to take shape once again at Wytaliba."

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