After nearly two weeks of commuter chaos along the New England Highway with the partial closure of the Tarro rail bridge, repairs are finally underway.
Traffic has been limited to a crawl since October 8 when structural issues with the bridge’s columns deteriorated, prompting Transport for NSW to abruptly reduce the road down to one lane in either direction.
An assessment carried out by specialist engineers on Thursday morning allowed crews to get remediation works underway on top of the bridge last night.
Transport for NSW Acting Chief Customer Officer Roger Weeks said works have commenced to lanes already closed to traffic, with further work planned to occur over the coming days.
“The work required to be done before Tarro Rail Bridge can reopen to four lanes of traffic is now underway, with Transport for NSW crews onsite late yesterday to carry out these urgent safety repairs,” Mr Weeks said.
“The restrictions are in place for the safety of all road users, which remains our top priority. We acknowledge the disruption this is causing motorists, freight operators and businesses.”
“We will keep the community updated on progress to restore the Tarro Rail Bridge back to normal operation for all road users.”
However, more substantial repairs still need to be carried out and it was announced on Monday that restrictions would remain in place for at least another four weeks.
Transport for NSW says it is working to restore the bridge as soon as possible and is working closely with maintenance contractor UGL Regional Linx and the Australian Rail Track Corporation to undertake the necessary repair works.
Additional controls remain in place including a reduced speed limit and restricted access for heavy vehicles of 69 tonne and above, as well as all Class 1 oversize and over mass movements.