Port Macquarie Hastings Council has reached a new milestone in the Rawdon Island Bridge Repair Project with the contractor now mobilising the structure for repairs to commence next month.
Council has been working behind the scenes to get to this stage, and will now undertake major works to fix damaged concrete piers to return the structure into a safe connection for residents and the community.
“What would ordinarily have taken two years to plan and design for this fix, council has completed in just four months having fast tracked the necessary analysis, planning and design approvals” Cameron Hawkins, Group Manager Infrastructure Planning, said.
“In the weeks ahead, contractor Duractec and its crews will begin accessing the bridge with scaffolding and commencing repairs to the damaged concrete piers at the base of the structure.”
Mayor Peta Pinson said: “To reach this stage in such a short period of time shows Council has a highly skilled, well-equipped specialist team of capable and qualified engineers who knew what needed to be done and the processes that where required to expedite the necessary statutory approvals.”
Duratec will be establishing a site compound in the mainland reserve area near the bridge from today, and will start repair work from 2 November, weather permitting.
“The initial repairs to the most damaged sections are due to be complete by mid-December, with further structural repair work to be undertaken from January to May 2022,” Mr Hawkins said.
Work to address the damage will occur Monday to Friday, between 7am and 6pm, and Saturdays between 8am and 3pm to minimise impacts to residents and reinstate full vehicle access across the bridge sooner.
Some night works may occur throughout the project with further notifications provided to nearby residents prior to any such work occurring.
Duratec will be using the existing informal boat ramp area to access the bridge so this ramp and surrounding area will be closed to the general public for the duration of the project.
Traffic controllers will be on-site to manage traffic and vehicle flows during the work and there may be times where traffic across the bridge will be paused while workers are conducting work from the top of the bridge. During the evenings, there will be automated traffic lights to manage traffic over the bridge.
It is anticipated that by mid-December, Council will be able to increase the load limit of the bridge to at least 22.5T GVM, providing greater access for residents and the wider community.
“We appreciate this has been a challenging time for residents and thank them for their continued patience while we complete this project and restore access.” Mayor Pinson said.