Heritage listed bridge gets freight-friendly overhaul

The $1.5 million restoration of the Barham Koondrool Bridge in New South Wales will enable safer journeys for the road transport industry.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the project, which was postponed due to high water levels in the Murray River and the Covid-19 pandemic last year, involves repairing piers that support this rare example of a De Burgh truss bridge.

“This is one of the oldest lift span bridges along the Murray River and we want to ensure we retain its heritage value while supporting the needs of today,” said Toole.

“The restoration work we’ll see kick off next week will ensure this Heritage listed bridge will continue to meet current vehicle loads and the growing needs of locals, freight and tourists. Without this work, load limits would be imposed, restricting accessibility across the river, so it’s a huge win for the freight industry.”

Member of the Legislative Council, Wes Fang, said repairing corrosion in the watertight metal retaining structures around the bridge’s piers would support heavy vehicle traffic travelling between Victoria and NSW through the Riverina.

“The repair of these structures, which will support 10 jobs, follows a major restoration of the bridge completed in December 2018,” said Fang.

“The work will involve removing rust and paint from the damaged structure surface, applying a seal to the area and installing a new steel plate.”

Work will take place between 7am and 6pm weekdays from Monday 15 February and is expected to take three months to complete, weather permitting. During the work, the bridge will remain open with a reduced speed limit of 20km/h, which may result in occasional delays of up to 20 minutes.

This upgrade is in addition to the $25 million restoration project Transport for NSW delivered in partnership with VicRoads and Regional Roads Victoria in 2018.