The NSW Government is funding the $48 million new Tabulam Bridge over the Clarence River. The project is part of the Bridges for the Bush program to improve road safety and traffic efficiency.
- Project cost: $48 million
- Contractor: Georgiou Group
- Completion date: Mid 2020, weather permitting.
The new Tabulam bridge opened to traffic in September 2020. The removal of the old bridge over the Clarence River is now complete and Transport for NSW is working to commemorate the history and significance of the old bridge in the adjacent park area.
More information can be found in the March 2021 project update (PDF, 561Kb).
The existing Bruxner Highway Bridge over the Clarence River at Tabulam is a State heritage listed structure and has an overall length of about 300 metres, comprising 13 timber approach spans and five composite timber/steel de Burgh truss central spans. The overall width between kerbs is 4.6 metres, accommodating only single lane traffic. The main spans are supported by concrete piers located in the river, whilst the approaches are supported by timber trestles.
Extensive maintenance work has been conducted over recent years to ensure the bridge remains safe for legally loaded vehicles. However, the bridge presents significant transport limitations both now and into the future and also requires a disproportionate share of the NSW Government’s bridge maintenance funding.
Roads and Maritime Services carried out investigations for a new bridge over the Clarence River, including the removal of the existing structure. The study area for the project is located on the Bruxner Highway incorporating the village of Tabulam and the Clarence River.
The objectives of the project are:
- Enhance road safety for all road users over the length of the project, including improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Investigate and determine the appropriate treatment for pedestrians and cyclists on the new structure
- Remove the existing bridge
- Improve traffic efficiency
- Improve road transport productivity and reliability
- Support regional and local economic development including improved opportunity for economic and tourist development for Tabulam
- Provide a value for money solution
- Minimise impact on the natural, social and built environment
- Coordinate construction traffic to minimise its impact and damage to the existing structure and to make allowance for potential maintenance work that may need to be conducted during the course of this project
- Involve all stakeholders and consider their interests
- Consider constructability impact
- Consider Work Health and Safety impact of the project options.
The preferred route (option D) was announced in May 2014 as it provides the best overall balance between functional, environmental and economic considerations. The preferred route option was identified following consideration of the technical investigations, community feedback and the outcomes of the value management workshop.
Please see the preferred Route Option Report (May 2014) (PDF, 6.88Mb) and the report from the value management workshop (PDF, 1.92Mb).
The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was determined in late 2015 for the project to proceed, subject to the State Heritage delisting for the existing bridge. Please see the REF report and the submissions report (PDF, 458Kb).
Due to the significant maintenance costs of the existing Tabulam Bridge, the structure must be removed once the new bridge is built. In early 2016, Roads and Maritime submitted an application to the Heritage Council to remove the existing Tabulam Bridge from the State Heritage Register.
The Heritage Council carried out a formal consultation process and the Minister for Heritage approved the application for delisting.
The Heritage Council has determined to remove the bridge from the Heritage Register.
Roads and Maritime is continuing to look at ways to remember the existing bridge and maintain the link between the bridge and the heritage values of Tabulam. To commemorate the timber bridge, replica trusses of the old bridge will be included on the new bridge (refer to the August 2016 project update (PDF, 174Kb) to view the artist’s impression of the trusses).
In October 2012 the NSW Government committed to improving road freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges over the next five years at 17 key locations in regional NSW.
As part of the Heritage Timber Truss Bridges program, six heritage timber truss bridges including Tabulam bridge, are to be replaced to provide ongoing safe service levels. Now that Roads and Maritime has a timber bridge strategy for conservation, Tabulam Bridge has been identified to be demolished and replaced with a new structure.
See Bridges for the Bush for more information.
For further information about this project contact:
Phone: 1800 314 530 (toll free)