Dungog Shire Council is progressing pre-construction work in preparation for a new $14.3M bridge over the Williams River, adjacent to the Heritage-listed Brig O’Johnston Bridge at Clarence Town.
Council has engaged independent contractors, OzArk, to undertake pre-construction activities, including a Review of Environmental Factors, Statement of Heritage Impact and Aboriginal Due Diligence investigations regarding the protection of Aboriginal objects within the area.
Mayor of Dungog, Councillor John Connors, says he is pleased to see the pre-construction work progressing well on this essential infrastructure upgrade.
“The bridge over the Williams River is an invaluable community asset, and yet another example of the way we’re working to ensure a safe, modern and resilient road and bridge network for every motorist that travels through our shire,” says Mayor Connors.
Council’s General Manager, Gareth Curtis, says the preliminary work is well underway, with further onsite investigations to continue in the coming months.
“All pre-construction works for the new Clarence Town Bridge are progressing to schedule, with the Environmental Assessment commenced and the Statement of Heritage Impact completed,” says Mr Curtis.
“An Aboriginal Due Diligence Report has also been completed, with recommendations for further investigations at the site.
“We’re working in consultation with Aboriginal groups in the area and will soon commence field work and an excavation dig onsite to determine whether any items of interest are uncovered.”
Executive Manager Infrastructure & Assets, Steve Hitchens, explains that discovery of any such items will require further liaison.
“This process incorporates a number of consultation steps and discovery of any significant items will require further consultation with Aboriginal groups and NSW Heritage, and may alter the final bridge location,” says Mr Hitchens.
“Completion of this work will allow us to finalise the Environmental Assessments and progress to the next stage of the project.”
Following these investigations, council will progress other important pre-construction activities. These include:
- Commencing geotechnical investigations
- Finalising bridge alignment
- Completing a detailed concept design; and
- Commencing discussions with property owners.
Construction of the new Clarence Town Bridge is a $14.3M project, with $8.8M from the Australian Government, $5.5M from the NSW Government, and the project managed by Dungog Shire Council, with assistance from Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
TfNSW will continue to monitor and maintain the existing Brig O’Johnston Bridge throughout this process.