Early work has started on the removal of the old Batemans Bay bridge after 65 years of sterling service to the region, with full disassembly set to begin next week.
Transport for NSW Regional Director South, Sam Knight said the southernmost truss span is scheduled to be removed on Wednesday 26 May, river conditions permitting.
“The removal of this span will allow a 15-metre navigation channel for marine vessels with 10-metre clearance at high tide to be opened temporarily in the following days, eliminating the need to operate the lift span,” Ms Knight said.
“Transport for NSW respectfully asks for patience and understanding from the community while the old structure is removed, as some of the work will take place outside standard construction hours.
“Carrying out some of the bridge removal activities before dawn and at night will maximise use of favourable tides and wind speeds, with conditions often safer during these times.
“Working this way will also minimise impact on river users and ensure the old structure is removed as quickly and safely as possible.
“Transport for NSW is aiming to remove the old bridge before Christmas, so here’s hoping we can deliver an early gift to a deserving community.”
Low-impact barge movements will take place from 5am to 7am while removal work will be carried out between 7am and 10pm during weekdays with processing to take place from 7am to 6pm on Saturdays, weather permitting.
All high impact work will occur within standard construction hours of 7am to 6pm except for Saturday between 1pm and 6pm, when processing work – which involves cutting steel and crushing concrete – will take place.
Noise from these activities will impact nearby residents but Transport for NSW is committed to minimising disruptions during this work, and will monitor noise and vibration impacts to determine if further mitigation is required.
Local residents and businesses have been engaged well ahead of time to ensure they are aware of and prepared for the work.
A barge on the downstream side of the old bridge will carry plant and equipment while a temporary jetty has been constructed on the northern foreshore of Korners Park to allow transfer of old bridge components for processing.
For the safety of workers and river users, land-based span removal work will take place within the project boundary.
River-based span removal work will occur within the marine exclusion zone that is bordered by safety buoys and signage at all times.
As work progresses, the marked navigation channel and marine exclusion zones will change.
All vessel operators and water users should keep a proper lookout, comply with local buoyage and signage, and exercise extreme caution when navigating near the works.
Transport for NSW thanks the community for their patience during this critical phase of the Batemans Bay bridge replacement project.
Images: Batemans Bay Boaters Association