24 November 2023

Wallaga Lake Bridge to close for extended periods in 2024

| Albert McKnight
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Wallaga Lake Bridge

Wallaga Lake Bridge is picturesque, but in need of maintenance. Photo: Transport for NSW.

While the Wallaga Lake Bridge will be closed to traffic twice next year, the NSW Government has reduced the total length of time it will be shut after receiving feedback from Bermagui residents and businesses.

The historical bridge, which dates back to the 1890s, is on Wallaga Lake Road between Bermagui and Tilba and is a route used by many locals and other motorists.

However, the government said it needed to close the bridge for essential maintenance. Transport for NSW said it needed to repair the structure to ensure its continued use into the future, including replacing and strengthening the girders and piles, repairing the bridge deck and upgrading abutments.

Early work is expected to begin from 4 March 2024 when a site compound will be set up on the nearby Payne’s Island.

There will then be two full closures: four weeks from 29 April and three weeks from 8 July.

Transport for NSW has advised motorists to detour via Cobargo during this time.

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After the first full closure, the bridge will temporarily reopen under traffic control while teams prepare for the next stage of work.

During the second closure, some work will take place at night.

The government said that improvements to the modified repair plan meant all the timber elements of the bridge deck would be replaced, which would allow for some repair work to be done after hours and reduce the full closure period.

The bridge is expected to reopen with stop/slow traffic arrangements in place for five weeks starting 29 July, while teams install handrails and complete finishing works.

“This maintenance work is needed to ensure the bridge can continue to serve as a vital link for people who live, work and visit this wonderful community,” Member for Bega Dr Michael Holland said.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said the Government was working with school bus operators to develop solutions to minimise impacts on students getting to school, including alternate routes and an amended timetable during the closures.

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“Transport for NSW is also investigating options to provide shuttle buses, maintain pedestrian access and promote the access options available for Bermagui to help businesses and local events,” she said.

Community members can ask questions about the new repair plan when Transport for NSW hosts two public drop-in sessions next month and members from the project team can answer any questions.

These sessions will be held on 4 December, 2023 at the Bermagui Country Club, Bermagui, from noon to 3 pm and 6 to 8 pm.

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