14 November 2022

Waterlogged roads and buckled pavements remain a challenge in Wagga

| Chris Roe
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damaged bridge

One lane remains closed on Edmondson Street Bridge. Photo: Chris Roe.

If the Inland Rail project goes ahead as planned the Edmondson Street bridge will go through a serious upgrade to make way for double-stacked trains, but as drivers coming and going from Turvey Park know, it’s in need of an overhaul now.

For over a week, one southbound lane and the footpath have been closed where the pavement has buckled alarmingly near the crest of the bridge.

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Wagga City Council has been working flat out patching battered roads between downpours and floods and Director of Infrastructure Services Warren Faulkner said they would be taking a close look at Edmondson Street as soon as they got a chance.

“At the moment, we’ve got some sinking of the pavement on the edge there so we need to get in there and do some assessment as to what’s causing that and then we’ll see if we can repair that,” he said.

“The lane has been shut there for the safety of the travelling public.”

broken bridge

The pavement on Edmondson Street Bridge has buckled. Photo: Chris Roe.

Closer inspection of the damage reveals that the subsidence has taken place over the earthen embankment where it does not impact the structural integrity of the bridge itself, but it has slowed traffic during peak times, perhaps offering a small taste of what is to come if the bridge is closed for 12 to 18 months to make way for the inland rail.

Mr Faulkner was out inspecting the work on Eunony Bridge Road on Thursday where metres of water covered the causeway, further damaging the battered blacktop.

Warren Faulkner

Warren Faulkner says council has worked quickly to reopen Eunony Bridge Road. Photo: Chris Roe.

Crews repaired the worst of the damage, making the most of the sunny weather before thew weekend to lay down a ‘sacrificial seal’ that would allow traffic to use the road before more extensive upgrades could be done.

“We realise the delays of having these arterial roads across the river, and at least one of these points closed as well, and we’re working as fast as we can to get those roads open,” Mr Faulkner said, pointing out that some roads that were less obviously damaged had also needed to remain closed for several days.

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“Hampden Avenue in particular is saturated. So while ever the roads are saturated, there’s no strength in the pavement and so we need those roads to dry out to get some strength back in and to carry the traffic, otherwise we’re just exacerbating the damage.”

Hampden Avenue had also suffered from the separation of several pipe culverts that created a hole in the road.

Looking ahead, Mr Faulkner said they would be exploring the option of concrete sections on key roads that would better withstand the rising waters.

damaged road

Eunony Bridge Road was in bad shape after the last big river. Photo: WWCC.

With both Eunony Bridge Road and Hampden Avenue opened ahead of the weekend, Mr Faulkner thanked drivers for their patience in difficult conditions and said council teams were doing their best to keep the city’s roads as safe as possible.

If you spot a serious issue with the roads or pavements, you can report it to the council here or through the SNAP SEND SOLVE community reporting app that can be downloaded here.

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