McKanes Bridge

McKanes Bridge upgrade

The NSW Government is upgrading the McKanes Bridge over Coxs River on McKanes Falls Road at South Bowenfels. The work includes replacement of the existing bridge with a safer, stronger and more reliable bridge which still has the appearance and heritage aspects of the original.

Latest news

NOV 2021

NOV 2021Extended work hours from Saturday 21 November

To reduce the impact of potential inclement weather delays, we will now be working seven days a week.

More information in the November 2021 project notification (PDF, 575Kb).

FEB 2021

FEB 2021Stage two started on January 18

The second stage of the upgrade work started on Monday 18 January 2021.

Work includes dismantling and restoring the existing bridge components, strengthening the existing truss with new steel and timber elements, strengthening the existing foundations with concrete, as well as other roadworks and landscaping.

The full upgrade is expected to be complete by late 2021, weather permitting.

McKanes Bridge is closed to traffic with a detour in operation via Jenolan Caves Road and the Great Western Highway.

Work hours are between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and, where required, on some Saturdays between 8am and 1pm, weather permitting.

Project information

McKanes Bridge was built in 1893 and is one of only four remaining McDonald timber truss bridges in NSW. Its restoration will ensure one of the oldest examples of a McDonald timber truss bridge in NSW is conserved.

The NSW Government has provided $10 million for the project to ensure the state heritage-listed timber truss bridge continues to serve the community while reducing maintenance needs in the future.

The upgrade includes replacing old timber elements with new timber and new heritage sympathetic materials to strengthen the bridge, while still retaining the appearance and design of the original bridge.

The first stage of work started on May 11, 2020 and the second stage of the work started on January 18, 2021.

The full upgrade is expected to be complete by mid 2022, weather permitting.

  • Upgrade the existing bridge to allow safe use by vehicles up to general mass limit (GML) standard.
  • Replace the existing timber side rails with a steel traffic barrier over the full length of the bridge.
  • Restore the condition of the major structural bridge elements to original condition (by replacement or repair).
  • Preserve the heritage form of the bridge (truss type)
  • The upgrade design is to have as minimal a negative impact to heritage value as possible, while still achieving the above proposal objectives.
  • Minimise operating costs of the bridge as far as possible while still achieving the proposal objectives.
  • Upgrading the structural capacity of the bridge
  • Retaining the original McDonald timber truss design
  • Upgrading critical structural elements of the bridge with superior and more durable elements
  • Upgrading the existing bridge to allow safe use by vehicles up to general mass limit (GML) standard.

Project documents

Project notifications

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November 2021 project notification

Extended work hours at McKanes Bridge at South Bowenfels from Saturday 21 November 2021.


Media releases

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March 2021

McKanes Bridge upgrade in South Bowenfels

January 2021

Detour allows for upgrade of McKanes Bridge

12 May 2020

Restoration starts on 127-year-old McKanes Bridge

22 April 2020

McKanes Bridge upgrade moving ahead



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