Roads and Bridges

When we bought the property there was no fencing, tracks or other infrastructure. We used an old public road entrance and soon found out over our first winter that getting up the first hill with any weight in the trailer could be quite difficult. Our first road (gravel based track) was started in November 2014 and was 300m up the hill to get us to a position to traverse the rest of the property.

What we now call North Creek was really just a drainage line with a few hardy and well eaten sedges that was water logged during winter. As part of creating the fenced off reserve we needed to build a crossing. As this was a ‘water affecting activity’ we had to submit designs and reports for approval to Natural Resource Management (NRM) who also at the time were able to assist us with financial support in creating this protected riparian area.

The Anacotilla River divides our property with only one available crossing point, which was difficult to traverse all year round, and impassable during the winter months. A bridge had to be built so we decided on a fairly heavy concrete culvert bridge. It was to be made of 6 individual culverts each about 1.2m wide, 1.2m high and 2.2m long, making the finished assembly 3.6m wide, 4.4m long and 1.2m high. To try and help reduce the cost the contractor used 3 pre-used culverts he already had and then a local concreter did the form work, reinforcement and poured the concrete to make up the final bridge structure. It is very soundly constructed and has served us well, withstanding extremely high water flows in the big rains of 2016, and comfortably supporting the movement of cars, cattle, the occasional large tractor and even a road roller.

With the proposed building of the house we are required to put in a 350m access roadway from our official DPTI entrance along the front to join into our original track up the hill. Because this roadway would go through a couple of paddocks we decided to move our boundary fence in by a few meters and build the road still on our property but on the outside of the fence line.

An added difficulty is that there are 3 Telstra cables running along the inside of our front fence so whenever fencing or digging is undertaken we required to have the cables professionally located. Of course, one of the cables ran directly along where the new boundary fence was to go, so we had to move it out slightly and use some of the raised road verge.

Of course they say, the best laid plans….. ! For any road, particularly a new gravel road heavy rains always put the design to test. Not long after the new roadway was completed we had the heavy rains of 2016 where over 45mm fell in an afternoon. Although the contractor put in 3 large under road drainage pipes it wasn’t enough and the build up of water cut large furrows into the side of the roadway and washed large amounts of gravel over the road or out through the drain pipes. So its back to the drawing board of adding another drainage point, and creating rock filled drainage lines along the edge of the road that was washed out, luckily we have plenty of rock on our place, now to just gather them all!

Updated 11 Jul 2019