Facelift for a reliable 88-year-old
The Thone River bridge, 22 kilometres west of Wauchope, is returning to its former glory.
For 88 years the bridge has provided reliable service to motorists using the eastern end of the Oxley Highway and, for the past nine months, has been getting some welcome TLC to bring it back to its best.
Transport for NSW North Region Director, Anna Zycki, said the bridge was wrapped, or encapsulated, for six months while time-consuming work to blast, capture and remove the original paint and then repaint was carried out. That wrapping has now been removed, giving locals and motorists a better idea of how the bridge will look when work is complete.
“These old bridges need and deserve a lot of attention,” Ms Zycki said.
“It’s easy to take them for granted, but they are essential for keeping communities connected, and to keep farm produce and freight moving.
“We know it can be an inconvenience while we provide the maintenance they need, but with some regular care and attention they will serve the community for decades to come.”
Ms Zycki said painting work had been completed, but further work needed to be carried out before scaffolding could be removed.
“We’re installing new barriers to improve safety on the bridge and expect to complete all work, with the barriers removed and the road returned to two lanes of traffic, by February, weather permitting,” Ms Zycki said.
Single lane, alternating traffic flow arrangement and 40km/h speed limit will be in place until the work is complete. Motorists should allow up to 10 minutes extra travel time.
Oversize and overmass vehicles cannot access this section of the Oxley Highway between Wauchope and Long Flat for the duration of the work and need to use an alternative route.
Historic and current photos of the Thone River Bridge are available here https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/txrja9ous4k7cpgur7c5m/h?rlkey=75uup7gw8lgqh9ttof882q9in&dl=0