THE Swan Hilll Rural City Council was to have voted last night on a proposal to seek a new location for the town's second bridge.Cr Gary Norton, who was one of three councillors to vote against the current route - known as 9a - lodged a notice of motion that he hoped would overturn previous approvals by the council, VicRoads, the NSW RTA and Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who gave it the nod in July after an independent planning panel report.
Cr Norton also wants the council to request meetings with Mr Guy, Minister for Transport Terry Mulder and VicRoads to look at alternatives.
But he withdrew the motion after not all councillors attended last night's meeting.
Cr Norton said two others - Jim Crowe and Jessie Kiley - also had indicated they were seeking legal advice about perceptions that they might have a pecuniary interest in the issue.
He said he was hopeful of putting the motion up for full discussion at the council meeting in February.
Route 9a was a major issue at the October council election, with two successful candidates – Cr Crowe and his daughter Cr Kiley - running as members of the Bridge Position Action Committee.
They argued 9a, which would meet Curlewis Street at a T-intersection between McCallum and McCrae streets, would have detrimental effects on the community.
These included directing more traffic into the central business district, causing noise, pollution and cutting through Riverside Park and the outdoor swimming pool, which would have to be relocated.
Before the election, the committee favoured route 4b which it said would cost $20 million less and allow construction of a flyover bridge downstream of the existing bridge, joining Curlewis Street at the Pye Street intersection.
In his preamble, Cr Norton said there was no argument that the city needed a new bridge.
''It is suggested that a suitable location for the replacement is a long way from decided,'' he said.
''It is also acknowledged that the construction of a replacement bridge is (not) included in any plans for the immediate future in New South Wales or Victorian Government programs.
''By moving the . . . motions, sufficient time will be provided to enable a thorough investigation into an alternative that has greater community support.''
The previous council voted 4:3 to approve 9a in 2010.
The councillors who supported it were Greg Cruickshank, John Katis, and Yvonne Jennings and Bill Croft who were not re-elected.
David Quayle, who retired, and Gary Norton and Les McPhee voted no.
Swan Hill is currently served by a 116-year-old timber truss, steel lift span single lane bridge, one of only two remaining on the Murray River.
The NSW RTA has spent several years carrying out maintenance work on the bridge, which is subject to weight and width restrictions.