New South Wales, News, Road upgrades

$12m project to make bridge more heavy vehicle friendly

An old NSW bridge, built in 1930, is being replaced as part of a $12 million project that will see it able to carry higher mass vehicles once complete.

The existing bridge on Henry Parkes Way at Manildra is narrow, in poor condition and doesn’t conform with modern design standards. The new Mandagery Creek Bridge will be wider and stronger.

Staged construction of the new bridge on the same alignment is taking place with single lane vehicle access across Mandagery Creek maintained at all times.

According to NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, the switching of traffic onto the completed upstream half of the bridge structure was an important achievement.

“The construction team still have the downstream half of the bridge to build but the traffic switch onto the completed upstream half represents an exciting milestone for the project,” she said.

Work on the downstream half is now the focus, with crews working on demolition preparation.

“The bridge is an important link for Manildra residents to access the town centre, as well as motorists travelling between Orange and Parkes, regional tourists, and freight operators,” Aitchison added.

“The new structure will be wider and stronger, be capable of carrying higher mass vehicles and make for smoother, more efficient journeys for road users.

“It will also be accessible for pedestrians when the new footpath on the northern side of the bridge is complete.

“There have been some challenging weather-related delays since work began in September 2022, so the fact we’re on track for a mid-2024 completion is a remarkable feat and credit to the teams for their hard work and planning.”

Segments of the bridge will be lifted from the downstream side, out and over the newly completed upstream half of the bridge.

A crane will be used during the second of 10 non-consecutive weekend closures, from 7pm Friday September 15 to 6am Monday September 18.

During the closure, Manildra residents living either side of Mandagery Creek will have no direct access to the other side of the creek and will have to detour via Cudal.

Similarly, motorists travelling on Henry Parkes Way from Orange to destinations on the western side of Mandagery Creek, or from Parkes to destinations on the eastern side of Mandagery Creek, will have to detour via Cudal.

The detour will add about 15 minutes to trips between Parkes and Orange.

There is currently no pedestrian access across Mandagery Creek following the loss of the Council footbridge in the November 2022 flood event, and there will be no pedestrian access during the weekend closures.

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