04 Dec 2020 - Rod Campbell
Forestry Corporation of NSW has fully replaced a bridge on Upsall Creek Road to provide visitor access to the popular Swans Crossing in Kerewong State Forest, while maintaining the highest standards for ecological and cultural heritage care.
The project highlights the lengths that Forestry Corporation staff go to preserve forest values, said Forestry Corporation Roading Manager, Craig Busby.
“The bridge is located in an environmentally sensitive area, but had broken stringers which meant a full replacement was needed,” Mr Busby said.
“This work was implemented to preserve our forest ecological values, whilst supporting our sustainable harvesting operations and providing safe and secure access for State forest visitors.
“The bridge rebuild was planned to ensure the highest environmental standards were met, with surveys run to identify and protect any Indigenous cultural heritage and threatened species prior to onground work starting.
“Our ecology team identified several records of the threatened plant Marsdenia sp. four metres from the area of operations and also a bird’s nest close by.”
Fencing was installed around these features and maintained during operations to clearly identify and protect these ecological values during operations.
There was also an existing bat roosting box installed under the bridge used for research in partnership with the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
“Once vacated by the bats, the box was carefully removed and will be replaced under the new bridge at a later date,” Mr Busby said.
“Our local contractors worked closely with our ecologist team to safely remove the box.”
The bridge crosses Upsalls Creek which was identified as key fish habitat during planning, with sediment control and water diversion techniques implemented to protect the habitat.
The timber was sourced locally from Lorne and Ballengarra State Forests by Forestry Corporation crews and transported to the site.
The bridge is now finished and open for use.
This bridge is part of the $46 million equity injection and is part of the larger NSW Government $100 million COVID stimulus package.
The equity injection will see Forestry Corporation repair priority damaged public infrastructure, expand its Grafton and Blowering nurseries and start replanting bushfire-affected State forests.
Find out more about Forestry Corporation’s bushfire recovery program.
Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428058549