River crossings and road transport are important to local economies and meet the accessibility and growth needs of rural communities. Well-planned, well designed and well-built roads and transport infrastructure are vital for economic development – for both community and business.
In January 2018, an assessment of the 32 Murray River crossings was published as a joint project between Transport for NSW and Victoria’s Department of Transport.
The Murray River Crossings Investment Priority Assessment helps inform and prioritise future investment decisions for the crossings.
The assessment was reviewed to take into account the construction of Dhungala Bridge at Echuca-Moama and restoration of Barham-Koondrook Bridge.
The assessment process considered each crossing in relation to its Higher Mass Limit for freight; connectivity; road safety performance and asset reliability; condition of the bridge; proximity to nearest alternate crossing; and dedicated facilities for pedestrians and cyclists (for twin towns). The heritage impact was not considered.
Multi-criteria analysis was used to generate a score for each crossing, categorising each into short (five years), medium (five to 10 years) and long-term (10 years +) priorities for likely future investment. A list of these priorities can be found in the assessment report (PDF, 1.39Mb).
The assessment did not focus on specific crossing solutions.
See more information and the investment priority assessment document (PDF, 1.39Mb).
In 2012, Transport finalised Timber Truss Road Bridges – A Strategic Approach to Conservation. This document highlighted the challenges of managing NSW’s historic timber truss bridges across the state and the part they play in the future of the transport network.
The strategy identified bridges requiring long-term conservation, modifications or replacement and delicately balanced transport needs and heritage conservation.
In 2018, Transport reviewed the strategy and some changes were made using what we’d learnt in the preceding years. The bridges now listed in the plan reflect the history and diversity of timber truss styles while balancing current and future needs.
Seven bridges which are not able to be upgraded to service the future road network and meet the needs of their communities will now be removed. Eight other bridges which are good examples of their type will be retained in their place. See more information and a copy of the Timber Truss Road Bridges strategy (PDF, 2.96Mb).
Since the 1936 Murray River Crossings Agreement, the river crossings between NSW and Victoria have been managed and maintained by Transport for NSW.
These crossings include:
- Abbotsford Bridge
- George Chaffey Bridge
- Euston-Robinvale Bridge
- Tooleybuc Bridge
- Nyah Bridge
- Speewa ferry
- Swan Hill Bridge
- Gonn Crossing/Murrabit Bridge
- Barham-Koondrook Bridge
- Old Echuca-Moama Bridge
- Dhungala Bridge
- Barmah Bridge
- Edward Hillson Bridge Tocumwal
- Cobram-Barooga Bridge (old)
- New Cobram-Barooga Bridge
- Yarrawonga-Mulwala Bridge
- John Foord Bridge
- Federation Bridge
- Howlong Bridge
- Union Bridge
- Spirit of Progress Bridge (Northbound)
- Spirit of Progress Bridge (Southbound)
- Bonegilla Island Bridge
- Heywoods Bridge
- Bethanga Bridge
- Wymah Ferry
- Jingellic Bridge
- Tintaldra Bridge
- Towong Bridge
- Bringenbrong Bridge
- Indi Bridge
- Biggara Bridge
Pictured: The former Towong Bridge was removed in April/May 2022. A new bridge is now in construction.
Transport for NSW, in partnership with Victoria’s Department of Transport, is currently replacing Towong Bridge with a new, 11-metre wide, 58-metre long concrete bridge, incorporating two traffic lanes and a pedestrian walkway.
See more on the Towong Bridge replacement page.
Pictured: A new bridge between Swan Hill and Murray Downs is currently in planning.
Transport for NSW, in partnership with Victoria’s Department of Transport, is planning for a new bridge at Swan Hill. While planning is under way, we are continuing to carry out regular maintenance work to ensure the existing bridge remains safe and serviceable for as long as it is needed.
See more on the Swan Hill Bridge replacement page.
Pictured: Some initial planning has been carried out for a replacement crossing at Yarrawonga-Mulwala, however the project is currently unfunded.
Transport for NSW continues to work closely with Victoria’s Department of Transport (DoT) on planning for a new Mulwala Bridge.
While planning continues, DoT is focused on building a new connection to relieve congestion and safety issues associated with heavy vehicles using Belmore Street through the Yarrawonga CBD.
Maintenance and repair work carried out at Mulwala Bridge during 2021 will ensure it is able to continue to safely operate and service the community until planning for a replacement bridge is complete and funding for the construction of a new structure has been secured.
See more at the Muwala Bridge project page.
Pictured: Initial planning has been carried out for a replacement crossing at Tooleybuc, however is currently not a priority for replacement, with the old bridge to be retained.
As detailed in the reviewed Timber Truss Strategy, Tooleybuc Bridge is planned to be retained. Plans for a new bridge were put on hold and focus was shifted to strengthening and restoring the existing bridge to retain its heritage significance while catering for modern traffic requirements.
This major rehabilitation project is currently unfunded. Transport for NSW and Victoria’s Department of Transport have started planning and development work, and are working through funding options.
A new Tooleybuc Bridge has not been taken off the table completely, but is further down the list of Murray River crossing priorities.
See more at the Tooleybuc Bridge project page.
For further information about this project please contact:
Mail: Murray River Crossings, PO Box 484, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650