Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is planning to install safety screens on the Union Bridge, on the old Hume Highway near Oddies Creek Park, Albury to prevent recreational jumping off the bridge and improve safety for motorists.
RMS has engaged the Government Architect's Office to carry out concept development and the final design of the safety screens.
Albury City Council and the NSW Police Force have advised RMS that people continue to jump off the bridge, sometimes running across the northbound traffic lanes to jump over the pedestrian railing.
Signage was installed in 2008, a promotional postcard campaign was launched in 2010 and police have been monitoring the location, however this is not stopping people from this activity.
The safety screens will prevent people from jumping off the bridge and improve safety for motorists travelling between Albury and Wodonga.
In May 2012, RMS sought feedback from key stakeholders and community members about the design of the screens. Feedback was received through workshops and via the RMS website.
Three possible screen designs were considered as part of this process and took into account the impacts on:
- Visual amenity of the Murray River area.
- Wodonga's 'gateway' entrance.
- Adjacent developments, including the 'Welcome to NSW precinct' and Wagirra Indigenous Trail.
- Local heritage significance of the bridge crossing to the community.
The final design was produced with community input.
Environmental Impact Assesment
An environmental impact assessment called a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was carried out to identify and assess the impacts of the safety screens on the environment.
The REF has been completed and is now on display in the Project Documents section of this website.
Heritage and Visual Impact Assessment
In addition, a Heritage and Visual Impact Assessment has also been completed. It was prepared by the NSW Government Architect's Office for inclusion in the REF and considers issues including:
- The character and qualities of the existing bridge and surrounds.
- The sensitivity of the landscape and design character to proposed alterations.
- The significance of existing views to and from the bridge.
- The history and heritage of the bridge.
The Heritage and Visual Impact Assessment can be found in the Project Documents section of this website.