Following a detailed assessment and structural review of Wambanumba Bridge, plans to provide alternative access for heavy vehicles (greater than 10 tonne gross) are being progressed by Hilltops Council as a matter of priority.
The design for constructing a sidetrack bypass around the Wambanumba Bridge have been finalised with work to begin as soon as Council receives statutory approval to commence construction.
Project planning and site preparation works are underway with staff commencing work on site on Friday. The project is expected to take two weeks to complete subject to receiving approval to commence these works and any unforeseen weather.
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The site setup for loading testing of the bridge has been completed with load tests to be undertaken on Friday. As part of the load testing potential options for upgrading and/or replacement of Wambanumba Bridge will be investigated.
Council advise that traffic restrictions imposed on Wambanumba Bridge remain in place.
The restrictions imposed are:
- Immediate 10 tonne gross load limit on all heavy vehicles using this bridge
- A 10 kmph speed limit on all vehicles using this bridge
Traffic control signals are in place on each side of the bridge to control traffic flow and speed. Weight restriction on this bridge will be strictly enforced.
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Alternative access options for school buses between Boorowa and Young include:
- From Murringo via Murringo Gap Road and Chews lane through to Olympic highway down to Young - NOTE this is a sealed route for the full length be it that in places the seal width is 4metres and is restricted to a 15 tonne gross load limit
- Alternative options include Murringo Gap road through to 9 Mile Gap Road or Belowra Road through to the Olympic Highway.
- The other options include having a bus on the other side of Wambanumba Bridge and allowing the school children to walk across the bridge and travel on to Young in the second bus. If this option was to be considered Council staff would further narrow the one lane access in order to provide a dedicated walkway across the bridge.
- Bus operators also have the option of using mini buses that will when fully laden be under the 10-tonne load limit.
Council will review the load limits across this bridge once the results from the load testing are available.
Until load testing has been completed it is not known whether the current loading limits can be lifted.
All heavy vehicle operators are encouraged to check http://m.livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au for further details.
Hilltops Council apologises for any inconvenience caused by these restrictions however public safety is our priority and these measures are necessary to ensure this.