The following is a question on notice asked by Councillor Phil Constable: Question: The opening operations of the Clyde River Bridge at Batemans Bay (the Batemans Bay Bridge) disrupts the traffic flow along the Princes Highway in the vicinity of the Batemans Bay township. The movement of all vehicles, including the emergency services of Fire, Police and Ambulance, in addition to pedestrian and cyclist movement, is impacted. And, when a failure in the Bridge’s operating system occurs, this disruption is more than significant. The bridge is required to be opened to provide navigable vessels right of movement up and down the Clyde River and is the responsibility of the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS). Has the Council through its staff been involved in discussions and, or correspondence with the Local State Member and, or, the Roads and Maritime Service representatives to resolve the problems caused by the opening operations and failures of the operating mechanism and to ameliorate the impacts on highway users and the local economy? If Council staff have been involved in such discussions and, or correspondence with any State Government Agency responsible for the Batemans Bay Bridge and the Princes Highway, what have those communications involved; what solutions to the operating problems were identified; and when will they be actioned to resolve the problems? This question is asked to inform and benefit the public. The response from Council as per the Agenda of Eurobodalla Council's Nov 8th meeting reads: Council has advocated strongly for an upgrade to the Batemans Bay Bridge including a recent
submission to the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy.
Subsequently, the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight the Hon. Duncan Gay MLC visited
Batemans Bay on Monday 31 October 2016 at the request of local member and Minister for
Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon Andrew Constance MP to discuss the proposed new
Batemans Bay bridge.
Both Ministers committed to the provision of a new bridge across the Clyde River with planning
work now underway. Whilst no specific timeframe was able to be provided for construction, the
NSW Government through the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is now preparing
options for the new bridge with a view to engaging with the community toward the end of
2017. The Ministers made a commitment to engaging with the community prior to making a
final decision on a preferred option.
The Ministers also made it clear that once the new bridge was constructed that the old bridge
would be removed.
Minister Gay also highlighted the recent repair works undertaken to the lifting mechanism
following the recent failure that caused a three hour closure of the Princes Highway. These
works now allow the bridge to open for marine traffic. The community can keep track of progress on this Batemans Bay bridge project at the following link to the RMS website. http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/south-coast/batemans-bay-bridge/index.htmlThe need for an increase in the capacity of the Batemans Bay bridge has been highlighted over a period of time, including in the Northern Area of Eurobodalla Shire Traffic Study March 2011. This strategy traffic study was instigated by Council and jointly funded by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services. The study identified a need to duplicate the Batemans Bay bridge (refer page (xi)). Leading into the last State election, local member Hon Andrew Constance MP announced the NSW Government’s intention to replace the Batemans Bay Bridge. The RMS has since confirmed the need to replace the Batemans Bay bridge due to its declining condition and limited capacity, both in terms of traffic volumes and load carrying capacity. The plan to replace this bridge is identified in the new Princes Highway Corridor Strategy August 2016 (refer page 144 of the Strategy at this link). Other issues raised directly by Council (and others) in relation to the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy are also addressed in the RMS’s community consultation report on the same web page (specifically at the following link). Pleasingly, the responses here to many of the issues raised by Council indicate proposed action within the short-medium term, subject to funding being made available by the NSW Government. Source