24 May 2024

Foundation work set to begin on Burley Griffin Way Bridge at Wallendbeen

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Wallendbeen bridge

In February, a new temporary bridge was craned into place at Wallendbeen, replacing the century-old brick and steel bridge that was demolished earlier this year. Photos: Transport for NSW.

Piling work is set to start for the Burley Griffin Way road-over-rail bridge at Wallendbeen next week.

Transport for NSW is building a new permanent rail bridge on Burley Griffin Way after the existing bridge was removed in an emergency due to severe damage sustained following wet weather.

A temporary single-lane steel bridge was installed in October 2021, which allowed motorists to drive the full length of Burley Griffin Way without lengthy detours.

Weather permitting, the piling work will start on Monday 27 May, and is expected to take about three weeks to complete. The work will occur from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.

“This is an exciting milestone on the 30-metre concrete bridge, which will ultimately restore a two-lane crossing and provide a stronger and wider bridge to serve the local community and freight network for years to come,” said a spokesperson for Transport for NSW.

“Since restarting work on the permanent bridge in late February, Transport for NSW’s contractor, Abergeldie, has finished building the new retaining walls and embankment structures within the rail corridor so this latest work can progress.”

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Transport will monitor noise and vibration to manage impacts on the community during the piling work period. It will contact directly affected residents and work to minimise disruptions as much as possible.

“The piling work involves drilling down to the hard layer of rock before installing reinforcing steel and concrete,” the spokesperson said.

“This will provide a strong foundation for the new bridge, which will be completed from existing temporary work platforms.

“Once the foundation is complete, work will include building the ends of the bridge known as abutments, relocating utilities, installing erosion controls and upgrading track drainage.”

The new bridge has been designed to better withstand severe wet weather.

The community will see the bridge really start to take shape during the next rail super shutdown weekend in September when a 600-tonne crane will lift the bridge girders into place.

Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed in mid-2025. The temporary bridge will remain in service until the permanent bridge is completed and open to traffic.

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The new bridge has been designed to be stronger and better able to withstand severe wet weather similar to that which damaged the original bridge.

Burley Griffin Way is a key route on the network linking the Hume Highway to the Riverina and the Olympic and Newell highways. The new permanent bridge will improve safety and travel times on this important freight corridor.

Extensive safety work has also been carried out, including regular inspections on the temporary bridge to ensure it remains safe and serviceable for the community and road users.

Wallendbeen Bridge elevation diagram.

These inspections include studies of the area, traffic light phasing, signage, safety, compliance and driver behaviour. The department said one such inspection showed excessive delays in the traffic light phasing, which frustrated drivers.

Community concerns around speed were also addressed, with a 20 km/h speed zone increased by an additional 75 metres on bridge approaches, slowing traffic in the vicinity of Morrisons Hill and Silo roads to the west and North Jindalee Road to the south.

Calls for a pedestrian path on the replacement bridge, however, have not been heeded. Locals are unable to use a nearby underpass to safely cross the railway line due to sustained flooding resulting from a damaged pipe.

Transport for NSW said it was working with Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council on active transport options within the village.

The regional council is also considering a community request for a pedestrian facility on Burley Griffin Way, linking the village to Barry Grace Oval.

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