Counting the days until reopening

By James Bennett

"Everyone is finally looking forward to it opening."

That is feeling in Toolamba towards the bridge reopening in November, according to local Heather Mulcahy.

Repairs to the only bridge across the Goulburn River in Toolamba have been happening since June — cutting off one of the two ways in and out of the town.

Toolamba residents who wish to visit Shepparton are required to travel west, then north through Mooroopna and then finally on to the major city centre.

Council said the Bridge Rd project is behind schedule but is confident it will be reopened by the scheduled completion date.

Although the bridge closing has been a "massive" inconvenience, Mrs Mulcahy said locals accept it is necessary.

"We all want the upgrade," she said.

"Before, the bridge couldn't take the weight of an ambulance, so when it opens we know it'll be for the best.

"Unfortunately there have been problems for some school students who live east of the bridge.

"There are also some farmers who have property on both sides, and that has been difficult for them.

"We are counting down the days but as with most things a lot of us have automatically adjusted to the changes."

Greater Shepparton City Council director infrastructure Phil Hoare said works are "approximately 40 per cent complete".

"As part of the works, 11 piers were found to be significantly deteriorated underground, which necessitated additional works and minor delays to the schedule," Mr Hoare said.

"The majority of the works on the piers have now been completed and the works are now focused on the structure above ground and water level.

"At this stage, the works are approximately 15 days behind the original schedule; however, we anticipate the works to be completed by the end of November."