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, (also known as Noorong Road), 37 kilometres east of Swan Hill. The $23 million project is part of the NSW Government’s Bridges for the Bush program, which aims to improve freight productivity in regional areas.
Review of Environmental Factors
A review of environmental factors (REF) was displayed in Moulamein, Barham and Murray Downs between 17 July and 14 August 2017. Please view or download the REF report and appendices.
No submissions were received to the REF, which assessed the likely impacts of the proposal on the environmental and detailed the protective measures to be implemented.
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.
Key features of the proposal include:
- a new two-lane concrete bridge across the Wakool River and floodplain, 15 to 20 metres downstream (north) of the existing Gee Gee Bridge and flood relief bridge. The bridge would have a length of about 245 metres
- realigning about 1.4 kilometres of Noorong Road
- demolishing and removing the existing Gee Gee Bridge and flood relief bridge
Noorong Road links Deniliquin in NSW and Swan Hill in Victoria, and has been identified as a strategic freight route in NSW. It is also an alternative freight route between Wagga Wagga in NSW and Swan Hill.
The existing Gee Gee Bridge and flood relief bridge restrict traffic because they do not meet current road design standards. The existing bridges:
- are narrow, with one lane, and vehicles must give way to oncoming traffic
- are not suitable for higher mass limit vehicles (HML) or oversized vehicles
- cannot be upgraded to meet the future operational needs of Noorong Road.
The proposal is required to meet current road design standards, remove traffic restrictions and improve road safety.
What is happening now?
Roads and Maritime and Murray River 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.
Roads and Maritime is continuing to work with the Office of Environment and Heritage to seek approval to demolish the existing bridge.
What happens next?
Roads and Maritime will manage construction of the new bridge and demolition of the existing Gee Gee Bridge and flood relief bridge. It is anticipated that a call for tenders to build the new bridge will take place in April 2018. The bridge will become a council asset once it is finished in late 2020, weather permitting.
Keeping you informed
Roads and Maritime will continue to provide information about this project as it progresses.
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.