Port Macquarie Hastings Council is preparing to enact the last stage of works under the Rawdon Island Bridge rehabilitation project, marking the end of critical repairs.
The project, managed by Council’s contractor Duratec, has involved highly specialised work to repair the critically damaged structures that support the bridge including the bridge piers and piles.
A seven-month effort to strengthen the bridge piers above the waterline is now drawing to a close, which has seen the removal of damaged concrete, added reinforcement, repairs to the concrete and the installation of a corrosion protection system.
These achievements followed underwater works in February 2022, where the critically damaged piles were repaired from the water’s surface level and below. With both stages of works now complete, the initial risks presented by the bridge’s state have been resolved.
Blayne West, Council’s Group Manager of Community Infrastructure Planning and Design said that her team are feeling confident in the progress to date.
“The scale of this project has been significant, and it has been a technically difficult and absolutely critical project to get right,” Blayne said.
“The safety of the local community has been front of mind throughout, and it’s great to be at this stage in the repair process.
“These pier repairs have strengthened and extended the life of the existing bridge structure for another twenty-five years, and have been built to withstand ongoing deterioration.
“There will be some further interruptions to traffic conditions while we complete this final stage, but we thank the community for their understanding while we work to finalise the project.”
The final stage of the rehabilitation, set to begin in the coming days, will address the deck of the bridge, improving the structure and providing a smoother surface.
Bridge deck works will start early October, with two full bridge closures planned as night works on 5 and 6 October, between 8pm and 5am to minimise disruption to residents. Final timing will be subject to the weather.
Council will be working with the Rawdon Island residents to communicate these changes.