Brig O'Johnston Bridge at Clarence Town

Roads and Maritime Services is carrying out essential maintenance work on the historic Brig O’Johnston Bridge over the Williams River at Clarence Town. Maintenance work started in August 2016 and is expected to take five months to complete, weather permitting.

Brig O'Johnston Bridge
Brig O'Johnston Bridge

Updates and announcements

Essential maintenance

Roads and Maritime Services is carrying out essential maintenance work on the Brig O’Johnston Bridge at Clarence Town.

Work includes routine maintenance of the timber trusses and the existing bailey support system, in preparation for future rehabilitation of the bridge.

Work scheduled to start on Monday 1 August has been delayed due to recent wet weather, with work rescheduled to start on Monday 15 August. Site establishment activities started on Monday 8 August, with activities including installation of a site compound and scaffolding on the bridge.

The channel directly below the bridge has been temporarily restricted for all marine vessels while work activities are carried out overhead, with channel markers in place for the safety of waterway users.

Work will be carried out Monday to Friday between 6.30am and 5pm and some work will be carried out on Saturday between 8am and 5pm. We expect to complete this work in five months, weather permitting.

The bridge will have a load limit of 32 tonnes during the work. A well signposted detour route will be available for vehicles greater than this weight.

The bridge will remain open to all other traffic during the work however short delays of up to 15 minutes duration may occur on occasions outside of peak hours and may affect travel times.

Please view the attached August 2016 project notification (PDF, 121Kb) .which includes a map to help better explain the alternative route. If further changes to traffic conditions are required we will advise motorists using electronic message signs at the bridge.

Waterway restrictions

The waterway directly under the bridge has been temporarily restricted while maintenance activities are carried out. An alternate channel will be in place and marked by temporary port and starboard marker buoys. Please see Marine Notice NH1689 for details.

Project background

The Brig O’Johnston Bridge over the Williams River at Clarence Town was built in 1880 and is the oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW. The bridge is one of 26 bridges identified for conservation in the Roads and Maritime Timber Truss Bridge Conservation Strategy, which was developed in consultation with the Heritage Council of NSW.

The strategy was developed to address the long term management of these structures and aims to establish a balance between infrastructure provision and heritage conservation. The strategy was displayed for stakeholder and community comment in 2011. The feedback received was considered in finalising the strategy and identifying bridges for replacement and conservation.

Given its heritage significance the Brig O’Johnston Bridge was identified for rehabilitation to meet current vehicle load standards while preserving its heritage features.

Next steps

The NSW Government is funding the rehabilitation of the Brig O’Johnston Bridge as part of its $145 million Bridges for the Bush commitment to improve road freight productivity in regional NSW and reduce timber bridge maintenance costs by replacing or upgrading bridges.

Rehabilitation work is required to strengthen the bridge to meet current vehicle loads and heavy vehicle requirements, as well as help to reduce future maintenance costs.

Roads and Maritime is continuing to work with the Office of Environment and Heritage with planning progressing towards a formal application to approve rehabilitation of the bridge. Following approval, an environmental assessment and delivery options will be prepared for consultation with the community.

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