Toms Cap Road, east of Gormandale in Gippsland has a new bridge that provides unrestricted access to the Mullungdung State Forest and to local private property, including pine plantations.

Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Macalister District Manager, Jessica Bandiera said: “This bridge replacement is an example of the great work that’s being achieved around the state through the Reducing Bushfire Risk program.

“The bridge is right on the interface of public and private land and is a strategic access for fire management purposes,” Ms Bandiera said.

“It now provides unrestricted access to public land directly adjacent to private properties including houses, farms and wineries in the Toms Cap area near Gormandale and Carrajung. 

“These are high bushfire risk areas and the old timber bridge was in poor condition with a load limit of two tonnes which restricted access for all emergency services vehicles and many public vehicles too.

“When Wellington Shire Council replaced another bridge on Toms Cap Road, it allowed our Roads and Fixed Assets Unit access to the bridge to fast track its replacement earlier this year.

“The new bridge has been designed and built to comply with all the latest Australian Standards for bridge design and construction and is un-restricted for all normal vehicle configurations including all firefighting and emergency vehicles.”

“It’s constructed of concrete components, rather than the traditional timber construction methods, which will ensure that with regular maintenance this bridge should last for its 100-year designed lifespan.”

Reducing Bushfire Risk is a $273.3 million government initiative to further lower the risk and severity of bushfires occurring in Victoria.

The Reducing Bushfire Risk program is being implemented on public land throughout Victoria over a period of four years to the end of June 2021.

This program is further reducing risk on public land by supporting early detection and rapid suppression of fires through fuel management, upgrading fire towers, building new bridges and improving roads.

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