Blaxland Crossing Bridge - Bridge Bearing Replacement Project

View from Warragamba Lookout

Wollondilly Shire Council and Penrith City Council wishes to advise that temporary changed traffic conditions will be in place at the Blaxland Crossing Bridge (also known as Wallacia Bridge & Silverdale Road Bridge) commencing in June 2016.

As part of Wollondilly Council’s asset management plan, it has been identified that the bridge bearings need to be replaced.

Due to the work required the following restrictions have been put in place:

  • 40kph speed limit on the bridge during replacement work
  • restricted access for 19m B-Doubles, B-Double access by permit will continue
  • 38t load limit without permit from June 30
  • Permit required for vehicles heavier than 38t but not exceeding 55t, from June 30
  • Fuel and quarry trucks will be able to access under the permit system

Wollondilly and Penrith Councils understand that this temporary restriction may cause disruption to businesses using the bridge as part of their route to deliver or receive goods/services. Both Councils are committed to working with local and regional businesses to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum. 

Permits for use between 38 and 55t will be issued for 3 month periods that will be extended pending monitoring of the bridge.

Access for NSW Fire & Rescue, Rural Fire Service, garbage trucks and buses will not be affected.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to exercise caution within the area whilst the works are being carried out.

For further information contact Rod Bray, on 4677 1100 or council@wollondilly.nsw.gov.au

Downloads

Application for Permit to Exceed Sign Posted Load Limit (Please allow 5 business days for normal processing of permit applications)

The estimated cost of the remediation works, subject to detailed design and methodology, is likely to be $600,000. This cost will be split on a 50/50 basis by Wollondilly Shire Council and Penrith City Council as part of their asset management programs.

The Blaxland Crossing Bridge is nearing 50 years old and whilst the bridge is still safe to travel on with the reduced speed limit, if no action was taken it will continue to sustain damage and will eventually become unserviceable. That is why this financial year (2016/17), Wollondilly and Penrith Councils have scheduled the replacement of the bridge bearings, which are nearing the end of their design life-span.

As a part of the preparation for the replacement of the bridge bearings, the bridge was inspected and tested to confirm the condition of the bearings and the bridge structure. This testing revealed that the bridge bearings were not functioning correctly and did require replacement. Due to the age of the bridge the bearings cannot easily be replaced and investigations are in place to determine the best way to replace them.

It was also found that in its current condition the bridge was not suitable for unrestricted higher load vehicles and the load restrictions should be imposed. If these load restrictions were not imposed then the bridge would likely deteriorate further.

The storm event of 5th June 2016 occurred after the initial investigations and the detailed assessment of the structure undertaken after the storm found that no structural damage was caused as a result of the flood. There was however damage to the footpath on the bridge and has since been fixed.

For further information on this Project or vehicle permits please contact Anna Paul P: 4677 1100 or E: council@wollondilly.nsw.gov.au

It is expected that the investigation, detailed design, tendering and construction works will take until at least June 2017 to be completed and the project will be staged as per below:

When Description Status  Comments
17-Jun-16 site traffic management warning signs installed (warning of load limit being applied) Complete  
21-Jun-16 Full site traffic management plan implemented Complete  
Advance warning signage at critical driver decision points warning of load limit   Additional sign installed at Intersection Farnsworth and Silverdale Road
Onsite road works signage    
Issuance of load permits Continuing 955 permits issued to date (as of 23 June 2017)
June to November 2016 Detailed investigation and design of bearing replacement Complete  
Mid November to Mid December 2016 Call tenders for replacement of bridge bearings Complete Seven tenders were received by the 19 December 2016
January to May 2017 Tender review process. Consultation and approvals with utility service providers Complete Sydney Water require Council to obtain approval via the FIFM (Flow Isolation and or Flow Management) process
June 17 Rejection of all tenders Complete All tenders rejected due to required changes in specification and scope
June 2017 - August 2017 Sydney Water Approval Process - FIFM (Flow Isolation and or Flow Management) Ongoing Subject to Sydney Water review and approval
Early August 2017 Accept tender for works and sign off by effected stakeholders Delayed (from initial timeframe of end December 2016) Delayed due to updated specification - on track to achieve award by early August 2017
August 2017 Works planning and approvals by successful contractor Not yet commenced Environmental Management Plan, Traffic Management Plan, Detailed Works Plan & Program
September 2017 Community Engagment regarding traffic management during works Not yet commenced Subject to formation of contract
 October 2017  Commence Bridge bearing works Not yet commenced  Subject to formation of contract
January 2018 Completion of Bridge Works  Not yet commenced Subject to formation of contract
February 2018 Testing of bridge post repairs to determine final required load limits and communicate results to the community Not yet commenced Subject to formation of contract

 

 

The initial site investigation, by independent bridge engineers, recommended that, due to the deteriorated condition of the bearings, the following restrictions are imposed;

  • 38t general load limit
  • Heavier vehicle access up to 55t by permit (issued from Wollondilly Shire Council)
  • Speed limit across and in the vicinity of the bridge lowered to 40kph

The final bridge load limit will be reviewed once the works are complete. Wollondilly and Penrith Councils have worked with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) regarding the loading issue, and the Gazetted B-Double of the route across the bridge was removed.

Temporary speed limit restrictions are facilitated by the Roads Act 1993 and have been implemented to minimise the dynamic impacts to the bridge structure so that further damage to the bridge bearings are prevented. The road work signage is a requirement of the road act and also serves as a reminder to motorists to take care when driving over the bridge.

Imposing a limit on the number of vehicles on the bridge at any given time is not feasible. Both Councils will continue to monitor the bridge and if further deterioration occurs the current load and speed limit restrictions will be reviewed.

Wollondilly and Penrith Councils understand that this temporary restriction may cause disruption to businesses that use the bridge as part of their route to deliver or receive goods/services and is committed to working with local and regional businesses directly to ensure any distribution is kept to a minimum.

We note that access for NSW Fire & Rescue, Rural Fire Service, garbage trucks and buses are not affected.

Permits are available for anyone with a heavy vehicle and access to the bridge will be permitted to those with a legitimate use, this includes local businesses.

Permits for use between 38t and 55t will be issued for 3 month periods, issued by Wollondilly Shire Council, which may be extended pending monitoring of the bridge.

An initial survey of local businesses was conducted in April 2016 to establish the extent of potential impact of the programmed works on local business in both the Wollondilly and Penrith LGA's.

The survey has revealed the following information to assist in the design and implementation of the project:

  • Number of businesses affected
  • Type and weight of vehicles using the bridge
  • Frequency of travel across bridge
  • Other business impacts

Further engagement will take place once a successful contractor can confirm their construction methodology and traffic management impacts to the bridge during the replacement works.