17 November 2022

What's the solution for Edmondson Street bridge ahead of rail upgrade?

| Chris Roe
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damaged edmondson street railway bridge

The retaining wall failed due to age on the Edmondson St Railway Bridge. Photo: Wagga City Council.

If you’ve taken a drive across the Edmondson Street railway bridge any time in the last couple of weeks, you’ll have no doubt seen the alarming ‘slump’ in the pavement that has closed the outer southbound lane.

The damage worsened on the weekend with a section of the retaining wall slipping away and causing further buckling to the footpath and edge of the road above.

Edmondson Street was briefly closed on Monday evening as crews from the Australian Rail Track Corporation and council removed unused overhead power lines that were impacted by the damage.

Wagga City Council put up a statement online, explaining that they are “working on an interim solution to reinstate the retaining wall that supports the footpath and road pavement,” explaining that “the retaining wall failed due to age”.

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As the main passage across the railway line between South Wagga and Turvey Park, Council has assured commuters they are keeping a close eye on it.

“We’ve blocked off the outside southbound lane. The bridge remains safe to travel over, and we’ll monitor it regularly to ensure your safety,” a post on Facebook read.

Director of Infrastructure Services Warren Faulkner said it will remain open.

“It’s safe to drive on the inside southbound lane, which is why we have the outside lane closure in place, with pedestrian access available on the western side of the bridge,” he said.

“We will continue to inspect and monitor the situation regularly to ensure the safety of the travelling public.”

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The bridge has been the focus of some recent controversy with the confirmation that it was to be closed and replaced with a new, higher bridge that would allow the passage of double-stacked freight trains along the Inland Rail.

Mr Faulkner said they are weighing up the best option for a short-term solution.

“The dilemma associated with the repair of the retaining wall is that this bridge and its approaches will be raised as part of the Inland Rail project,” he said.

“On the last advice we received from Inland Rail, construction on the Albury to Illabo section of the Inland Rail Project, which includes the upgrade of this bridge and its approaches, is expected to commence mid-2024.”

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