The first stage of the study by the RMS is underway to reassess the environmental assessment regarding coastal processes and potential impacts caused by the new bridge. If it is found the new bridge will adversely impact erosion processes compared to the existing bridge, the report will offer additional mitigations as part of the project. The RMS intend to make the first stage of the report publicly available when it is complete in the first half of 2019. In 2017 Roads and Maritime completed their environmental assessment of the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project. The 2017 assessment found that the new bridge would have minimal impacts on coastal processes such as waves, tides and currents, flood flow and sediment transport (erosion and accretion) compared to the existing structure. In May 2018, it was determined that the project had considered its environmental impacts and provided satisfactory mitigations where required and the project was approved for construction. Through public concerns expressed by the community over the erosion history of Surfside it was agreed that an additional independent study be carried out by GHD to verify the coastal impacts of the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project to provide further certainty to the community,
GHD met with interested stakeholders on 19 October 2018 and 13 December 2018 to update on the progress of the study and on 5 November 2018 for a site visit. The minutes and presentation from the last meeting on 13 December can be read in full HERE.
The second stage of the study will be an investigation into the broader causes of historic erosion in Surfside. A report will be prepared and will provide the community with a greater understanding of the causes of erosion in the area not relating to the construction of the new bridge or removal of the existing structure. This report may be used by government agencies to investigate further mitigations that would be considered beyond the scope of the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project. The outcome of Stage two would not impact the construction of the new bridge.