13 April 2021

Work underway on next big Canberra-to-coast bridge project

| Kim Treasure
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Sod -turning ceremony at Nelligen bridge

From left: Transport for NSW project manager Luke Brodie; Member for Bega Andrew Constance; Seymour Whyte from Seymour Whyte Constructions; Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes; Les Simon, Rob Perry-Williams and Bindarray Jiibiny at the Nelligen Bridge sod-turning ceremony. Photo: Supplied.

With the new Batemans Bay Bridge open for traffic, work is starting on another connection for motorists travelling between Canberra and the NSW South Coast.

The first sod has been turned on the Nelligen Bridge project, with traffic expected to flow over the new structure by late 2023.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance says the $148 million project is being delivered by the NSW Government as part of its commitment to safer journeys into and along the South Coast.

READ ALSO Emergency workers and Aboriginal Elders lead walk across new Batemans Bay bridge

“We know how important the highway connection is between Canberra and the coast for the local community, visitors to the region and transport operators,” he said. “This new bridge marks a major investment in safer journeys for the thousands of people who use it every day.

“The new bridge will increase safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists by providing an improved curve on the eastern side of the bridge, with wider lanes and shoulders, plus a safety barrier between the road and footpath.

“The project will also improve access around the river’s foreshore with a two metre-wide path linking Thule Road and Reid Street, along with a new community space to be built on the western side of the existing bridge.”

The 349-metre bridge is being built with a 100-year design life that includes the option of adding another lane in each direction if required.

READ ALSO Nelligen’s iconic Steampacket Hotel is back in business

It will eventually replace the current Nelligen Bridge, which opened in 1964 – a massive upgrade on the punt service that had operated across Clyde River since 1895.

Thirty thousand vehicles used the punt the year before it was replaced. The route now services more vehicle movements than that each week, and concerns about the safety of the structure date back almost 10 years. Routine inspections discovered advanced deterioration of several concrete pillars, and the decision was made to build a new bridge rather than try to repair the existing structure.

Seymour Whyte Constructions has been awarded the contract for the project.

Sod-turning ceremony at Nelligen Bridge

The new Nelligen Bridge across Clyde River will have a 100-year lifespan. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Constance says the new bridge project is supporting jobs “at a time we need them the most, with the project employing around 90 people, including local suppliers and subcontractors.”

Commencing work includes installing concrete injected columns on the eastern approach to the new bridge, which will improve the ground to better support the new section of highway.

A temporary jetty and rock platform will also be built to enable work to be carried out in the river.

The new bridge is expected to open to traffic by late 2023, and the project – including removal of the old bridge – is expected to be finished by late 2024, weather permitting.

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Fabulous. As a frequent visitor from our loved capital Canberra to the wonderful South Coast for the last 61 years this is certainly the “modern age”.

Isabel Robinson7:26 pm 17 Apr 21

I look forward to the day when Andrew Constance realises that his electoral responsibility extends right down to the border. The highway south of Eden is not much better than a goat track. The highway through Pambula town has to give way to Pambula Beach Rd – I’ve seen traffic banked up right through the township’s CBD because of that dangerous intersection.

Jeff de Jager7:30 am 15 Apr 21

Oops! Digging the first sods on the wrong side of the old bridge is not a good sign the pollies have a clue.

Coastal Visitor4:20 pm 01 Jun 21

Indeed Jeff, what were they thinking? I thought the first sods had been turned some years back.

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