Transport for NSW 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.
MAR 2021Next stage of maintenance at Swan Hill Bridge
Transport for NSW is carrying out an ongoing program of maintenance on Swan Hill Bridge, to ensure the bridge continues to stay open and safe for all road users as long as required.
Transport previously delayed the start of the next stage of maintenance due to border restrictions. We now have a program in place which allows work to be carried out with reduced impacts to our border communities.More information
Work will be carried out between 9pm and 6am, Sunday to Thursdays from 19 April and involves replacing the temporary walkway with a new pedestrian path to better cater for the needs of the community.
To limit the impacts to road users and to ensure the safety of workers and motorists, work will be carried out at night and is expected to be completed by late June, weather permitting.
Motorists are advised to allow up to 20 minutes extra travel time to their journeys
Between 2007 and 2009, the Victorian Department of Transport (formerly VicRoads) led investigations to identify the best location for a new river crossing.
Following a comprehensive planning process and extensive community consultation, the NSW and Victorian governments endorsed Option 9a as the preferred route for a future bridge in 2012. Option 9a involves building an intermediate level bridge upstream of the existing bridge.
In 2012, the NSW Government published Timber Truss Road Bridges - A Strategic Approach to Conservation. This document identified 26 timber truss bridges constructed in NSW between 1860 and 1936 that met, or could be upgraded to meet, the operational needs of the communities they service.
This strategy identified that Swan Hill Bridge was to be retained. In 2019 Swan Hill Bridge’s status was changed and it was added to the list of bridges to be removed.
This opens the door to the possibility of building a new crossing on the same alignment as the current bridge, known as the McCallum Street option.
In late 2020 community consultation was carried out to understand the community’s alignment preference, between the McCallum Street option and Option 9A.
A community feedback summary report will be released in the coming months, capturing comments and Transport’s response to feedback gained during the recent community consultation.
Currently, the future crossing project is in the very early stages of planning and the NSW and Victorian governments have not yet committed funding for construction. As planning progresses we will seek funding for the project.
We will continue to keep the community updated as planning progresses.
A series of essential maintenance have been carried out on the existing Swan Hill Bridge over the last few years, to ensure the bridge remains safe and serviceable as long as it is needed.
A series of essential maintenance projects has been carried out on Swan Hill Bridge since 2016.
The first stage of work involved installing temporary support structures (baileys) on the NSW side to adequately strengthen the bridge for expected increased loading over the harvest season.
Trees that posed a risk of falling onto the bridge and reduced the visibility for motorists were also removed.
Temporary support structures were installed on the Victorian side of the bridge in October 2015. Work included installing a temporary pedestrian walkway.
The second stage of maintenance started in March 2018.
This work was put on hold in October 2018 to avoid impacting the local harvest season.
Unfortunately work to install the external support structures progressed slowly as the complexity of the steel and timber repairs on the 120-year-old bridge was much greater than expected.
Transport for NSW returned to Swan Hill Bridge in 2019. Work involved strengthening the existing structure and removing the width restriction.
The internal support structure was removed, transferring the bridge’s weight to an external, 110-tonne structure, made up of over 8000 bolts and 4000 individual pieces of steel.
In May 2020 maintenance works on the bridge included installing new piers and improving the road surface.
The next stage of maintenance work will be carried out from Monday 19 April and is expected to be complete in late June, weather permitting.
We will continue to keep the community informed as maintenance work is carried out.
The existing bridge needs to be maintained to ensure it remains safe and serviceable for as long as required while planning on a new bridge progresses.
Load limits and restrictions
Given the age of Swan Hill Bridge and lengthy detour routes needed if bridge access is removed, the bridge is rated to General Mass Limit (GML) vehicles to protect it from damage from overloaded vehicles.
A single non-compliant vehicle can affect both the short-term behaviour of the bridge as well as the long-term performance.
For all Oversize Overmass enquiries, please contact 1300 656 371.
For more information about accessibility and limits on NSW roads and bridges, see the NSW Oversize Overmass Load Carrying Vehicles Network map.
March 2021 project notification
Walkway replacement Swan Hill Bridge from 19 April 2021
For further information about this project contact Nicholas McMullen, Bridge Works Manager:
Phone: 1300 679 842