Windsor Bridge replacement

The NSW Government is funding this project to help improve traffic flow and provide a reliable and safe crossing of the Hawkesbury River.

Windsor Bridge
Artist's impression of the new Windsor Bridge, looking south

Updates and announcements

Update from the salvage work

Roads and Maritime Services is working with Austral Archaeology and Extent Heritage on the salvage work as part of the Windsor Bridge project. This has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. All work conducted as part of the salvage is in line with best practice in this field and is conducted under the direct supervision of professional and qualified archaeologists.

Roads and Maritime has also been consulting with a number of local Aboriginal groups with a cultural attachment and authority to the project area. These include the Gunjeewong Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council, Darag Land Observations, Darag Aboriginal Land Care, Tocomwall, Darag Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment, Darag Custodian Aboriginal Corporation and Darag Tribal Aboriginal Corporation. Representatives from these groups form the Aboriginal Focus Group helping Roads and Maritime manage the cultural heritage work.

This essential salvage work involves excavating the north eastern part of Thompson Square to document and recover any heritage artefacts which may be located within the area. There is no impact directly on Thompson Square, nor does the project impact on any heritage buildings in the area. No buildings will be removed at any stage of this project.

When artefacts are found, they will be catalogued and analysed by archaeologists and a full list of our finds will be made available to the public via our project page.

All work has been carried out in consultation with the above groups and other stakeholders including the DPE and Officer of Environment and Heritage.

On 7 December, professional archaeologists engaged by Roads and Maritime uncovered what appears to be at this early stage, a barrel brick drain. Historic box drains are not an unusual find when excavating new work sites. This is an example of why Roads and Maritime engages heritage specialists to ensure proper investigations are carried out and all historic finds are properly managed.

Roads and Maritime will continue to update the community regarding any future findings within the salvage area.

On 7 December, the archaeologists exposed a rounded brick feature, covered in shell mortar, in a hand-excavated test pit at a depth of approximately 2m below the former ground surface, as part of the salvage work taking place onsite. At this stage, a 500x500mm section has been exposed, and the archaeologists are excavating another hand-dug test pit further downslope to determine more information about the find. It appears consistent with the top of a brick barrel drain, however it will require further testing and study by the experts onsite. Other rectangular structures, which appear at this early stage to be block drains, were also uncovered in the week prior.

Once we have further details regarding the findings, we will be providing a more comprehensive update to the community.

Facing south-west in the south west corner of the site
Facing south-west in the south west corner of the site
South facing view of the test pit
South facing view of the test pit

Urban Design and Landscape Plan

Roads and Maritime prepared a draft Urban Design and Landscape Plan (the draft Plan) to show how the integrated design process has carefully considered the built, natural and community environment with particular sensitivity to the unique heritage values of the area. The draft Plan was available for community comment from 13 March to 7 April.

The draft Urban Design and Landscape Plan has now been finalised as has the Submissions Report. The final draft documents will be reviewed upon approval of the Strategic Conservation Management Plan.

View or download the reports:

View the Urban Design and Landscape Plan page for more information.

Artist's impression looking south from bridge
Artist's impression looking south from bridge

Three lanes to operate from opening

To realise greater traffic improvements from the new Windsor Bridge, Roads and Maritime Services will be implementing the three lane configuration of the bridge from opening.  This change was originally scheduled to occur in 2026.

The new bridge, with two lanes southbound and one northbound, will increase traffic capacity and complement upgraded intersections on both sides of the Hawkesbury River.

For more information about the benefits for all road users:

Click on image and watch animation
Click on image and watch animation

Project background

Originally built for horse-drawn vehicles and foot traffic in 1874, Windsor Bridge is now used by up to 19,000 vehicles every day. The existing structure has deteriorated and reached the end of its useful life.  It no longer meets current road design standards so it needs to be replaced.

Roads and Maritime investigated a number of different options including repairing and replacing the bridge. We found restoration of the existing structure would only add a limited period to the life of the bridge before additional costly repairs or replacement would be needed.

Community consultation on the project began in 2009 and has continued throughout the development process. We have considered the issues raised during consultation together with environmental and heritage studies in finalising the design.

View the project questions and answers document for more information about the project.

Key features

Key features of the project include:

  • A new bridge with two lanes 35 metres downstream of the existing Windsor Bridge
  • New approach roads and intersections to connect the new bridge to the existing road network
  • New traffic lights with pedestrian facilities at the intersection of Bridge Street and George Street
  • Modifications to local roads and access arrangements, including changes to the Macquarie Park access road and reconnection of The Terrace
  • A new dual lane roundabout at the intersection of Wilberforce Street and Freemans Reach Road
  • A pedestrian and cyclist facilities, including a shared path for access to and across the new bridge
  • Removal and backfill of the existing bridge approach roads
  • Removal of the existing bridge once the new bridge is operational
  • Landscaping and urban design work, including within the Thompson Square parkland area and adjacent to the northern intersection of Wilberforce Road, Freemans Reach Road and the Macquarie Park access road.

Project benefits

Key benefits of the project include:

  • Improved safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists from a new, reliable bridge
  • Improved traffic flow from a bridge that allows two-way heavy vehicle traffic and shoulders for vehicle breakdowns
  • Upgrading an essential local and regional road link across the Hawkesbury River at Windsor
  • Improved traffic efficiency by installing traffic lights at the intersection of Bridge and George Streets and a new dual-lane roundabout at Freemans Reach Road and Wilberforce Road
  • A new bridge that can cope with higher levels of flooding
  • Better access for pedestrians and cyclists from a three metre wide shared pedestrian and cycle path that provides safe, efficient connections to Thompson Square and surrounds
  • Reduced road footprint within the Thompson Square heritage precinct
  • A unified open space in Thompson Square increasing the usable area in the square by more than 500 square metres with direct access to the river.

Community engagement

Roads and Maritime has carried out extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders since the project was announced in 2008. We have used a number of different methods to keep the community informed including project update newsletters, letterbox drops, newspaper advertisements, community information sessions and meetings, website updates, shopping centre displays and doorknocking.

Feedback was first invited from the community in July 2009 when nine different options were displayed for comment. Following the announcement of the preferred option in August 2011, further feedback was invited from the community to inform the concept design.

A third consultation period was carried out in November and December 2012 with the display of the concept design and environmental impact statement. We prepared a submissions report outlining the submissions received and our responses.

We will invite further feedback from the community in early 2017 on proposed urban design and landscaping for the project.

Ticket counting

Roads and Maritime Services recently carried out routine traffic counting surveys as part of the Windsor Bridge replacement design process.

The traffic survey took place in March.

Electronic devices were used to count traffic numbers and vehicle movements at intersections, and queue lengths at:

  • Bridge Street / Wilberforce Road / Freemans Reach Road
  • Bridge Street / George Street
  • Bridge Street / Macquarie Street
  • Bridge Street / Court Street

The information collected will be used to inform the final design of the Windsor Bridge replacement.

Next steps

The detailed design for the project continues to be developed based on the important archaeological investigations, archival recording and environmental monitoring activities to meet our conditions of approval.

In the coming weeks, Roads and Maritime will invite feedback from the community and stakeholders on the three volumes of the draft Strategic Conservation Management Plan. This will include the detailed results of the archaeological testing program.

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