Wallaga Lake Bridge essential maintenance work


Project overview

Major work will be carried out on Wallaga Lake Bridge to repair the local icon which has been operating since the 1890s. The bridge forms a strong part of the area's history, spanning multiple generations. This essential maintenance work will make the bridge of the future safer for the local community and everyone who uses it.

Wallaga Lake Bridge.


Key dates in 2024

  • Monday 4 March - Early work began
  • Monday 29 April - Major work begins with the bridge closing for four weeks
  • Monday 27 May - The bridge re-opens temporarily for six weeks under traffic control
  • Monday 8 July - Major work continues with the bridge closing for three weeks
  • Monday 29 July - The bridge re-opens under traffic control for five weeks while finishing work is completed

These dates are weather dependent. The community will be informed of any changes in advance.

Latest news

April 2024 – First bridge closure and free community bus service

As part of the essential maintenance work, preparations for the first closure have been under way, along with the establishment of a site compound.

Beginning Monday 29 April, the bridge will be closed day and night for four weeks, weather permitting. During this time the project team will conduct maintenance activities on the piles and abutments.

While the bridge is closed motorists will be detoured via Cobargo Bermagui Road and the Princes Highway. This alternate route will add between 15 to 40 minutes to journey times.

Free temporary bus service

While the bridge is closed to vehicles, a free temporary bus service will be in place to help locals make their way around.

Buses will run from 7am through till 6pm daily, with support services for passengers in wheelchairs. The service will include fixed bus stops and, where it can be safely accommodated, a hail and ride option.

There will be three bus routes connecting Narooma,Central Tilba, Akolele, Cobargo, Bermagui and Wallaga Lake Heights.

  • E2: Bermagui to Wallaga Lake Heights, and return
  • E3: Akolele to Narooma, and return
  • E4: Akolele to Bermagui, and return

Passengers requiring wheelchair or mobility assistance can arrange pick-up from one of the designated bus stop locations by making a booking the day before travelling.

Information regarding bus routes, bus stop locations and the timetable can be found here (PDF, 272.26 KB).

For any enquiries about the service or to make a booking for mobility assistance please contact the bus operator, Bega Valley Coaches:

  • Weekdays, 9am – 5pm: 02 6492 5188
  • Weekends, 9am – 4pm: 0409 449 856

Travelling to school during the closure

School buses will operate on an adjusted timetable during the two bridge closure periods. Schools will share details regarding the adjusted timetable prior to the first bridge closure period from Monday 29 April. Information outlining the adjusted school bus timetable is also available here (PDF, 187.41 KB).

An extra bus will be put on to serve Akolele and the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community, aiming to minimise the travel time for children.

Pedestrian access

A designated walkway will be available for pedestrians during both closure periods.

Access will be restricted to foot traffic only as the walkway will be narrow and at times involve stairs. For the safety reasons, bicycles, prams and wheelchairs will not be permitted to use the pedestrian walkway during this time.

Temporary lighting will be installed to help pedestrians safely cross the bridge at night.

Find out more

View the latest project update (PDF, 1.43 MB) to find out more information about the upcoming closure, how the community will be supported and other service changes.

March 2024 – Work begins on Wallaga Lake Bridge

Work on Wallaga Lake Bridge begins today, Monday 4 March. The bridge will remain open to traffic as early work begins, including setting up the site compound and receiving deliveries. Motorists may experience a five-minute delay at times.

This early work will prepare the site for the first closure beginning Monday 29 April for up to four weeks, weather permitting.

Based on community feedback, we're putting together a plan of targeted support strategies aimed at reducing the impacts felt by the community from the upcoming Wallaga Lake Bridge closures.

We're working with local bus operators to develop a timetable of free shuttle buses to assist the community during the two closure periods.

More information about the bus timetable and routes, and other support strategies, will be released in the weeks prior to the first closure.

February 2024 – Review of Environmental Factors

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) has been prepared for the Wallaga Lake Bridge essential maintenance work.

The REF describes the proposed work and documents the likely impacts of the proposal on the environment and details the mitigation and management measures to be implemented.

View the Review of Environmental Factors (PDF, 72.55 MB) to find out more.

November 2023 – Update on project timing

Transport for NSW has developed a new timeline for maintenance work on Wallaga Lake Bridge. 

Following community consultation, an updated work methodology and schedule has been developed that minimises the duration of the bridge closure and implements strategies to support the community while the necessary closures are in place.

View the latest project update (PDF, 1.06 MB) to find out more. 

A community drop-in session will be held at Bermagui Country Club on Monday 4 December 2023. The team will be available from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 8pm to answer any questions.

Project information


Wallaga Lake Bridge is an important piece of local infrastructure dating back to the early 1890s. It is located on Djiringanj land of the Yuin Nation and falls under the LGAs of Bega Valley and Eurobodalla.

Wallaga Lake is of significance to the Yuin people, being home to the black duck, a totem called the Umbarra. The Yuin people regularly fish the lake for flathead, bream and mullet. The lake is also a place surrounded by burials and is regularly used for gatherings and cultural business.

The bridge forms a connection between two arterial roads, Wallaga Lake Road and Bermagui Road. It also connects residents of Wallaga Lake and Bermagui to Narooma and the small community of Akolele.

Transport for NSW has identified the need for essential repair and maintenance work on Wallaga Lake Bridge. While the crossing is still safe, we will be carrying out work to repair the structure to ensure its continued use into the future. This includes replacing and strengthening the girders and piles, repairing the bridge deck and upgrading abutments.

During some of this work, the bridge will be required to close to traffic as it will not safely hold the weight of vehicles with key structural elements removed.

We understand the bridge is a vital connection and that there is no ideal time for a closure. Transport is committed to working closely with the community to develop measures to support the community during the closure periods.

Community information

Transport has carried out significant consultation to gather local feedback about aspects of the work that will impact the community. Community feedback was used to plan the best timing and approach to carry out the work.

Our aim is to minimise disruptions to the community as much as possible as we carry out this essential safety work.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Wallaga Lake Bridge essential maintenance work?

Routine inspections of Wallaga Lake Bridge have indicated deterioration of the timber structure. Essential maintenance work on the bridge is required to improve its serviceability and durability, while ensuring it remains safe for the local community and the travelling public into the future.

Engineers will also investigate the best strategies for managing and maintaining the bridge, with the overall goal of enhancing safety. This includes replacing and strengthening the girders and piles, repairing the bridge deck and upgrading abutments.

How long will the maintenance work take?

The project is expected to take around six months, weather permitting.

We have developed the best timing and approach to carry out the work which minimises impacts on the community, supports the community through closures, is safe for our workers, and allows the essential work to be carried out. 

How was the community involved in the development of the project?

Community consultation was carried out from Monday 29 May 2023 for upcoming essential maintenance work on Wallaga Lake Bridge. Transport for NSW invited feedback from the community over a four- week period. Further meetings with key community and business groups were carried out in July 2023, including a community forum organised by the Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland MP.

With the information gathered in the survey and further consultation activities, we understand the views and concerns of the community. We have collated a summary (PDF, 12.07 MB) of what we heard.

What support will be provided to the community during the bridge closure periods? 

Transport is committed to supporting the community through the closures of the bridge. Shuttle buses, pedestrian access, night work and closing the bridge over school holidays will all be implemented to help reduce impacts on the community. View the latest project update (PDF, 1.06 MB) to learn more. 

Will the bridge be open over the summer holiday period?

Yes, the bridge will be open over the summer holiday period.

Transport understands the community relies heavily on tourism over this period and will ensure the bridge is open with no construction being carried out.

Is the bridge currently safe?

Wallaga Lake Bridge is currently safe for use. We will continue ongoing monitoring and inspections of the bridge to ensure it remains safe for crossing. If further deterioration is identified, urgent work may be required, which may include closures.

Transport will carry out maintenance work to ensure it remains safe for all transport customers, including the local community and the travelling public, into the future. This work began in early March 2024 and will continue for six months, weather permitting.

What are the construction hours?

The standard construction hours for Wallaga Lake Bridge maintenance work are:

  • Weekdays - 7am to 6pm
  • Saturdays - 8am to 5pm
  • Sundays – 8am to 1pm

The majority of the bridge work will be done during standard construction hours. Some work may be required outside of these hours, including at night. 

We will notify all impacted road users and residents in advance if out-of-hours work is required. Electronic message boards will be used to inform motorists of traffic changes related to the project.

During the second closure period from Monday 8 July 2024, work will be carried during the day and night. Transport will work closely with nearby residents and sensitive noise receivers to mitigate impacts of construction noise.

What is the impact to pedestrians and cyclists?

We heard the community is keen to stay connected. Pedestrian access will be maintained for the duration of the project. 

During the first closure period, pedestrian access may be narrow and at times involve stairs. Bicycles should be walked or carried, while prams and strollers can be folded and carried across the bridge, provided it can be done safely.

Access may at times be limited to foot traffic only. We ask the community to follow the instructions of signs and our workers.

Pedestrians may experience a short delay to their journey while an escort becomes available and workers ensure the site is safe. We thank you for your patience. 

Can the community still use Wallaga Lake during construction?

A construction safety exclusion zone will be established on the roadway and on the lake around spans of the bridge where works are being carried out. To allow pedestrian access to be maintained and to create work platforms from which teams can work, a pontoon scaffold will be installed following the first closure period. 

Access under the bridge will be temporarily restricted from this time.

How will the community be impacted during construction?

Wallaga Lake Bridge will be required to close temporarily to enable work to be carried out on piles and girders.

Traffic will be detoured via the Princes Highway, Cobargo. The community is advised to allow between 15 to 40 minutes additional travel time to their journey, depending on where they’re travelling to and from.

Outside the closure periods, the bridge will operate under traffic control with delays of up to five minutes. 

Please plan your trip and drive to conditions.

Will water quality in Wallaga Lake be affected?

Water quality within Wallaga Lake will be monitored during construction works. Transport will seek approval from the Batemans Marine Park to carry out maintenance work on the bridge.

A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) addressing construction-related impacts such as soil erosion, noise, air quality, biodiversity and socioeconomic issues will be developed and implemented throughout the duration of the project.

Will there be increased noise during this work?

There will be an increase in noise to some nearby residences while the work is carried out.

Every effort will be made to minimise noise during construction by:

  • Scheduling noisy works to consider less sensitive time periods
  • Operating and maintaining plant and equipment in an efficient and proper manner
  • Choosing lower noise construction techniques and lower noise emitting plant and equipment
  • Site awareness and being considerate on work sites, such as avoiding dropping or dragging equipment and materials
  • Working closely with nearby residents to mitigate impacts of construction noise during night works.

Appropriate safeguards will be provided within the CEMP to manage and mitigate the impacts associated with noise during the upgrade works.

What maintenance work will be carried out?

While the crossing is still safe, work must be carried out to repair the structure to ensure its continued use into the future. Work to the structure of the bridge includes replacing and strengthening girders, piles, pier bracing, headstocks, cross beams, corbels, railings and kerb.

The project also includes repairing the bridge deck and work to stabilise the abutments and prevent scouring. This will involve the installation of new H piles, gravel boards and replacing backfill material and rock.

Aesthetically the bridge will not change. We will maintain the current look of the bridge by replacing elements with like-for-like.

Why does the bridge need to be closed during maintenance work?

We will be repairing and replacing large elements of the structure including the girders that span between the piers of the bridge.

During this process, the bridge deck will be removed to allow for the replacement of the corbels and girders. Divers will also be working in the water under the bridge.

While this work is being carried out, vehicles cannot be on the bridge as key structural elements will have been removed.

To ensure the safety of the community and our workers, and to complete this work efficiently, safely and to Transport quality standards, the bridge is required to be closed while this work to replace structural elements is carried out.

Why is the bridge not being replaced?

Built in 1894, the Wallaga Lake Bridge is a locally iconic piece of infrastructure. We understand that some members of the community are keen to see the bridge replaced with a new structure, however Transport has no plans to replace the bridge at this time.

Transport will continue to monitor the bridge to ensure it remains safe and trafficable and will continue to prioritise maintenance to ensure connectivity is maintained in the immediate future.

Transport will work with other government agencies to seek funds to investigate the future of the bridge connection. In the meantime, we can work with Eurobodalla Shire Council, Bega Valley Shire Council and the community on what this may look like.

Project documents

Some documents on this page may not comply with accessibility requirements (WCAG).

If you are having trouble accessing information in these documents, please contact us.


Community notifications


Media releases

Contact us

For further information about this project, please contact:

Phone: 1800 015 379

Email: Wallaga.Lake.Bridge@transport.nsw.gov.au