The load limit for Cuttagee Bridge on the Tathra-Bermagui Road will be reduced to 10 tonnes from Monday, December 6, following an independent structural assessment.
The assessment, carried out by Cardno Consulting Engineers, reviewed the structural integrity of the bridge and identified a number of concerns that require urgent works. Until these works can be completed, Bega Valley Shire Council is implementing a recommended 10 tonne load limit and a reduced speed limit of 5km per hour until these urgent repairs can be undertaken.
BVSC acting director of assets and operations Ian Macfarlane said safety was the number one priority.
"Cuttagee Bridge is nearing the end of its functional life and is already subject to weight restrictions due to its deteriorating condition," Mr Macfarlane said.
"We commissioned this independent structural assessment to ascertain the current state of the bridge and check it was still safe to use. Unfortunately, the bridge is in a worse condition than we hoped, and we need to lower the load and speed limits to ensure the safety of all road users until the urgent repair works are completed.
"Emergency services and key agencies have been informed of the changes, and council staff are endeavouring to contact other impacted businesses and organisations.
"There will also be some changes to council's waste collection service for a number of residents - we are still finalising the details and impacted residents will be notified shortly.
"At this stage, we are planning to undertake the repair works in early January as it will take time to procure the specialised components which are not locally available.
"I'd like to thank the community for their patience as we work through this."
Alternative routes for heavy vehicles are via the Princes Highway.
Cars and other small vehicles under 10 tonne can still safely use the bridge, but will be required to comply with the 5km per hour speed limit.
After completion of the urgent repair works and based on the structural assessment, the maximum load limit may be increased to 15 tonne with the reduced speed limit of 5km per hour, due to the overall poor condition of the bridge.