Archaeological testing program starts for Windsor Bridge replacement

22 August 2016

An extensive archaeological testing program will start next week as preparation work for the Windsor Bridge replacement project continues.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the archaeological work is part of the project’s conditions of approval to ensure impacts to Aboriginal and European heritage are minimised.

“The Windsor Bridge replacement project will provide significant benefits to the local community including a more reliable and safer river crossing,” the spokesperson said.

“The existing Windsor Bridge was built in 1874 for horse drawn carts and pedestrians but with population growth in the Hawkesbury, more than 19,000 vehicles now use the river crossing every day.

“The bridge design and intersections at either side no longer meet road safety standards for current traffic volumes.

“Roads and Maritime is progressing work for a new crossing which will be built 35 metres downstream of the existing bridge.

“A key component of the bridge work will be intersection improvements on the approach roads to help improve traffic flow.

“Traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Bridge and George streets and a new two lane roundabout will be built at the intersection of Wilberforce Road and Freemans Reach roads.

“Pedestrian facilities will be included at the traffic lights to encourage residents and visitors to safely access Thompson Square and local businesses in Windsor.

“A new shared pedestrian and cyclist path across the new bridge will improve connectivity between Windsor and Windsor Beach – a popular spot for locals and tourists.

“The archaeological work will inform the Strategic Conservation Management Plan to help manage impacts to Thompson Square, which will be expanded by more than 500 square metres of additional land.

“Activities will include digging test pits throughout the project area to locate and assess Aboriginal and historic items, artefacts and deposits.

“Some work will also be carried out by maritime archaeologists and divers to excavate and record material from the Hawkesbury riverbed.

“Items uncovered during the archaeological excavations will be taken off-site for cleaning, sorting analysis and recording.

“This process is expected to take three months to complete with work starting from Wednesday 17 August, weather permitting.”

The community will be kept informed as work progresses and whether further archaeological work will be required.

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