Piling begins for new Nowra Bridge


25 November 2020

Today marks major construction work on the new Nowra Bridge project with piling works now underway.

The construction phase of the project, which is expected to cost $310 million, is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the first stage of the bridge work is an important milestone for this significant project.

"The new Nowra Bridge will ease congestion and cater for future traffic growth along this section of the Princes Highway," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"Across the South Coast, NSW and indeed the nation, we are continuing to roll out these types of projects under our $110 billion nationwide infrastructure investment program, laying the foundations for economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic."

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said construction of the new bridge will support the local economy as it recovers from bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Nowra Bridge project is expected to create around 200 jobs, providing a big economic boost to the region," Mr Toole said.

"It will also provide improved journey reliability, especially during the holiday seasons and relieve congestion for locals as well as those travelling to and through the South Coast.

"The Australian and New South Wales governments have already spent $2.5 billion on the Princes Highway upgrade since 2011 and we have made a further joint commitment of $1.5 billion for works between Jervis Bay and the Victorian border."

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the project will provide a new four-lane bridge over the Shoalhaven River and improved intersections and additional lanes around the bridge.

"Key benefits of the project include improved safety, capacity and efficiency across the Shoalhaven River, better freight access by removing over height and higher mass restrictions and increased local and regional connectivity for all motorists," Mr Hogan said.

State Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said piling will start from the southern foreshore before moving out across the temporary rock platform, which will be used for bridge work in the southern half of the river where it is too shallow for a barge.

"There will be 39 permanent piles constructed over the next year to create a strong foundation for the bridge, connecting the piers to a layer of solid rock below," Mrs Hancock said.

"An additional 10 smaller temporary piles will be installed to support the casting yard area which will be used to build the spans of the bridge."

State Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the new bridge, which will be around 360 metres long, will carry northbound traffic and the existing one, which was opened in 1981, will be used for southbound vehicles."

"This will allow the retirement of the 1881 wrought iron whipple truss bridge, which will be used as a pedestrian and cycle bridge."

The community is advised there will be some noise and vibration from piling work, and every effort will be made to minimise impacts with the footpath on the northbound bridge closed during work hours with pedestrians and cyclists detoured onto the southbound bridge path.

Project works will continue to complete the casting yard on the southern side of the river from where the concrete bridge segments will be built and launched.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-2024, weather permitting.