New Tabulam Bridge project

The NSW Government is funding the $48 million new Tabulam Bridge over the Clarence River. The project is part of the Bridges for the Bush program to improve road safety and traffic efficiency.

Tabulam Bridge

Updates and announcements

Work is progressing well, with 15 girders now in place for three of the bridge’s nine spans.

The next round of girder deliveries is scheduled for September.

The large bridge girders are being transported under police escort from Brisbane, via the Pacific Highway to Woodburn, across to Coraki and Casino, then onto Tabulam using the Bruxner Highway.

Motorists are advised of potential delays due to the slow speed of the girder transportation.

Other activities either completed or underway since the start of work in October 2017 include:

  • Girders placed for three of the nine spans
  • Work to establish crane pads for the large crane to lift and place the girders has been completed
  • Work has started on building temporary pontoons and walkways to enable the bridge piles and piers to be constructed in the river
  • Work on the western side of the river is continuing with construction of the western piers and completion of the Overflow Bridge substructure
  • Piling work on the eastern side of the river has been completed.

The project

The existing Bruxner Highway Bridge over the Clarence River at Tabulam is a State heritage listed structure and has an overall length of about 300 metres, comprising 13 timber approach spans and five composite timber/steel de Burgh truss central spans. The overall width between kerbs is 4.6 metres, accommodating only single lane traffic. The main spans are supported by concrete piers located in the river, whilst the approaches are supported by timber trestles.

Extensive maintenance work has been conducted over recent years to ensure the bridge remains safe for legally loaded vehicles. However, the bridge presents significant transport limitations both now and into the future and also requires a disproportionate share of the NSW Government’s bridge maintenance funding.

Delisting the existing bridge

Due to the significant maintenance costs of the existing Tabulam Bridge, the structure must be removed once the new bridge is built. In early 2016, Roads and Maritime submitted an application to the Heritage Council to remove the existing Tabulam Bridge from the State Heritage Register.

The Heritage Council carried out a formal consultation process and the Minister for Heritage approved the application for delisting.

The Heritage Council has determined to remove the bridge from the Heritage Register.

Roads and Maritime is continuing to look at ways to remember the existing bridge and maintain the link between the bridge and the heritage values of Tabulam. To commemorate the timber bridge, replica trusses of the old bridge will be included on the new bridge (refer to the August 2016 Project Update to view the artist’s impression of the trusses).

Bridges for the Bush

In October 2012 the NSW Government committed to improving road freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges over the next five years at 17 key locations in regional NSW.

As part of the Heritage Timber Truss Bridges program, six heritage timber truss bridges including Tabulam bridge, are to be replaced to provide ongoing safe service levels. Now that Roads and Maritime has a timber bridge strategy for conservation, Tabulam Bridge has been identified to be demolished and replaced with a new structure.

See Bridges for the Bush for more information.

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