Read Morpeth Bridge - Community update - November 2010 text version

Community Update


Morpeth Bridge

Replacement of bridge decking

Morpeth Bridge spans the Hunter River at Morpeth near Maitland. The NSW Government is funding works to improve the bridge's ride quality and to reduce future maintenance costs. This community update provides information on the upgrade program including upcoming closures in November and December 2010.

Project overview

In August 2010 the RTA completed works to upgrade the approach spans on Morpeth Bridge. The works involved upgrading 17 approach spans (one at the Morpeth Town end of the bridge and 16 at the Hinton end). The first seven spans on the Hinton end of the bridge were replaced with an earth filled concrete retaining wall, while the piers on the remaining spans on the Hinton end were replaced. The upcoming works involve replacing the timber deck across the three timber truss spans. This work will provide a smoother driving experience across the full length of the bridge and help to reduce the amount of routine maintenance on the bridge.


Morpeth Bridge is a heritage significant timber truss bridge. It is the oldest remaining example of an overhead braced Allan truss road bridge in service, and is one of only three remaining in NSW. Allan truss bridges were an extremely successful design with major innovations made in the areas of maintenance and the cost of construction. Timber truss bridges were impor tant in the development of the road network and contributed to the expansion of rural NSW, particularly for the mining and agricultural sectors. Before the construction of these bridges, river crossings were often treacherous and an impediment to efficient transport. The bridge was designed in 1893 by Percy Allan, senior bridge designer at the NSW Public Works Department, and is important to the history of Morpeth. Existing deteriorated bridge decking to be replaced.

Completed capacity improvements on approach spans at the Hinton end.

Scheduled maintenance program on Morpeth Bridge


Replacement of deck units


November 2010

Expected traffic impacts

A full bridge closure of five days from 9.30am Thursday, 25 November to 5pm Monday, 29 November 2010 will be required to remove existing deck. Bridge reduced to one lane during the week and one full bridge closure of four days will be required from 9.30am Thursday, 9 December to 5pm Sunday, 12 December 2010. Bridge reduced to one lane during the week and a total of four full bridge closures of four days will be required in February and March 2011. Bridge reduced to one lane during the week.

Installation of new deck planks and new kerb and handrail

December 2010

Installation of new deck planks and new kerb and handrail

January to June 2011

Installation of cross-girders under deck

July to October 2011

The RTA will keep the community informed of progress and provide notification prior to works requiring traffic changes. Timeframes may vary, subject to weather. Note: There will be no bridge closures during the Christmas and Easter school holidays.

Community information

The RTA will provide information to the community with as much prior notice as possible, using:

Extent of works

Removal of existing kerb and handrail The kerb and handrail will be removed from the truss spans in order to allow bulk deck replacements during the November closure. Replacement of deck units The existing deck across the truss spans will be removed and replaced by new timber deck units in preparation for installation of new deck planks on the bridge. This is to provide a smoother driving surface and minimise routine maintenance on the bridge. Installation of new deck planks and new kerb and handrail The installation of the new deck planks and new timber kerb and handrail will be undertaken progressively using a combination of single lane closures and full bridge closures to speed the process and reduce impacts on the community. Installation of cross-girders Some existing cross girders will be replaced utilising access from a barge in the river and single lane closures on the bridge.

· Letterbox drops. · Roadside signage. · Advertising. · Community updates. · Local media.

For further information please contact the RTA's project manager Julie Morgan: Julie Morgan, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, Locked Bag 30, Newcastle NSW 2300 (02) 4924 0201 (during business hours) [email protected]



Morpeth Bridge - Community update - November 2010

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Morpeth Bridge - Community update - November 2010