Abbotsford Bridge to re-open for harvest
2 June 2021
Work to future-proof the Abbotsford Bridge by repairing the deck and the mechanical lift span will be complete before harvest, delivering more reliable journeys for local fruit growers and pickers crossing the Murray River.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said maintenance work to the 92-year-old bridge - the only remaining steel truss bridge with a lift span that crosses the Murray River - would prevent future maintenance closures.
“More than 2800 motorists use Abbotsford Bridge to cross the Murray River between Wentworth and Mildura every day, so we need to ensure we have the infrastructure to cater for this level of activity for many years to come,” Mr Toole said.
“The existing lift span deck and mechanical components are reaching the end of their life, so we’re doing the work now to ensure we don’t run into longer shutdown periods or have to carry out unplanned repairs down the track.
“This work will not only ensure the bridge keeps operating safely into the future, it will also provide about 20 local jobs while it’s being carried out.”
Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall said Abbotsford Bridge had played an important role as a state border checking point during the COVID-19 pandemic to make travel smoother for the region’s farmers and residents travelling into Victoria.
“Even today, the bridge carries a lot of traffic for the grape, stone fruit and grain industry, especially during harvest and picking seasons,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a crucial crossing point for many fruit and grain producers, so we are letting them know about the upcoming bridge work early, so that they can plan their freight routes as they cross the NSW and Victorian border.”
Work to upgrade the bridge lift span will commence in mid-June for four weeks and will be carried out at night to minimise impacts to road users. Following night work, Abbotsford Bridge will be closed to all traffic, 24 hours a day, for six weeks, weather permitting.
Traffic control and reduced speed limits will be in place during work, including a detour via George Chaffey Bridge in Mildura, which will add about 40 minutes to travel time.
Night work will recommence from late August, immediately after the full closures, and is scheduled to be complete in five weeks, weather permitting.
The lift span will be closed from mid-June and is scheduled to reopen from early November, with no oversized vessels access under the bridge during this time. Transport for NSW will provide the community with further detailed information ahead of maintenance work. For the latest information, visit the Live Traffic NSW website, download the Live Traffic app or call the Transport Management Centre on 132 701.