Replacement of Gee Gee Bridge
Roads and Maritime Services is planning to build a new bridge over the Wakool River on the Swan Hill to Deniliquin Road, 37km east of Swan Hill. The project is part of the NSW Government’s Bridges for the Bush program, which aims to improve freight productivity in regional areas.
Gee Gee Bridge was built in 1929. It is a Dare type timber truss bridge and is listed on the State Heritage Register. The bridge has a single traffic lane and vehicles give way to oncoming traffic.
The bridge has been identified for replacement under the Timber Truss Bridge Strategy, which was endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW in August 2012.
Replacing the bridge with a concrete bridge will meet the current and future traffic demands in the area, including semi-trailer and B-double vehicles being able to carry heavier loads.
Gee Gee Bridge is on the Swan Hill to Deniliquin Road (known locally as Noorong Road) which links Deniliquin in NSW and Swan Hill in Victoria. The route has been identified as a strategic freight route in NSW. It is also an alternative freight route between Wagga Wagga and Swan Hill. The bridge is on a B-double route but can only carry loads up to 42.5 tonne.
Roads and Maritime, with Project Management support from Wakool Shire Council, is managing this project. The bridge would become a council asset when it is finished.
The bridge would be a 9 metre wide, two lane concrete structure to cater for farm machinery and B doubles with heavy loads.
As part of the project, Roads and Maritime is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage to seek approval to demolish the existing bridge.
- Improving traffic efficiency and higher freight vehicle capacity by providing a two lane, concrete bridge. This includes meeting the needs of local farmers to move wide machinery across the river
- Reducing disruptions to road users by eliminating long term maintenance work on the old timber bridge.
What is happening now?
Roads and Maritime and council have almost completed planning for a new bridge. This planning involves choosing a location, completing bridge designs and carrying out environmental assessment. It is likely the bridge would be built next to the existing bridge as it provides the most direct route across the river and has minimal environmental impact.
What happens next?
Once planning is finished, the project approved and funding confirmed, the tender for construction would be advertised and a contract awarded. The planning and tender process is expected to continue until early 2017. It is expected the project would be finished in late 2018.
Keeping you informed
Roads and Maritime will provide information about the project as planning continues.
Future maintenance work on the existing bridge
Maintenance work will need to continue on the existing bridge to ensure it continues to service the area. Roads and Maritime will provide advice on impacts to traffic from bridge maintenance as required. No work is currently planned.