Forests recycle old iron

29 Jul 2004

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Recycling wood has become common these days as old timber buildings, bridges and warehouses line up for a second life.

Near Wauchope, though, the wood producers have gone the other way by recycling iron.

This is not any old iron. It was once a part of the Iron Cove Bridge in Sydney.

Forestry Corporation operations forester at Wauchope Karel Zejbrlik sizes up a span of the old Sydney Iron Cove Bridge that is now in use as a temporary bridge in Broken Bago State Forest

Forestry Corporation operations forester at Wauchope Karel Zejbrlik sizes up a span of the old Sydney Iron Cove Bridge that is now in use as a temporary bridge in Broken Bago State Forest

Forestry Corporation operations forester at Wauchope Karel Zejbrlik sizes up a span of the old Sydney Iron Cove Bridge that is now in use as a temporary bridge in Broken Bago State Forest.

Operations forester for Forestry Corporation, formerly State Forests, at Wauchope, Karel Zejbrlik, has deployed four sections of the old bridge as temporary or portable bridges in local forests.

“These spans are 7.3m long and 3.1m wide, all steel including the deck with a 100mm bitumen top,” Mr Zejbrlik said.

“They are perfect for bridging any narrow stream with high sides, and can be left in place for as long as needed, removed and re-installed ready for another harvest.”

Constructing a bridge from concrete pipes might cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a typical crossing encountered in a State forest.

These iron bridge spans cost about $9,000 installed the first time, and after that, cost only the relocation machinery costs and labour.

“After two or three uses, these bridges will have paid for themselves and still have plenty of life left,” Mr Zejbrlik said.

“They were already constructed as bridge spans, so they are more than engineered for anything we might use them for.”

Mr Zejbrlik said pipe bridges were not suitable for relocation, as the material often chipped or degraded when moved, and usually were integrated with other concrete headworks.

Media contact: Karel Zejbrlik on 02 65853744.