29 May 2024

Work to resume on shoring up Windang Bridge supports after erosion repairs

| Jen White
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Windang Bridge over Lake Illawarra.

Extensive repair work has been carried out on the concrete piers supporting Windang Bridge. Photo: Jen White.

Work to ensure the ongoing safety and stability of Windang Bridge will resume from Monday (3 June).

Transport for NSW started rehabilitation work on the bridge’s concrete piers in February last year, carrying out extensive repairs including patching areas of damaged concrete.

The next stage of the project will be to install additional rock under the bridge to provide a stable support, without impeding the flow of water through the Lake Illawarra entrance channel.

The work was required to address serious scour, or sand erosion, around the bridge piers which was threatening the bridge’s structural stability.

Urgent scour protection work under the bridge was carried out in 2019 as well as work to stabilise the bridge piers and prevent further sand erosion.

READ ALSO Mayor calls for more urgency on study into ‘massive’ Lake Illawarra erosion issues

Shellharbour MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Roads Anna Watson said the work would ensure the community landmark remained strong for years to come.

“I want to thank the community for their patience as there are some minor impacts to the boat ramp and parking while this important work is carried out,” she said.

Work will be carried out from 7 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays from Monday 3 June and is expected to take about six months to complete, weather permitting.

Work will be carried out on the compound site within the Fern Street boat ramp carpark, on the bridge’s eastern side.

Traffic control will be in place intermittently on the boat ramp during work hours.

In the waterway, the set navigational channel will remain open. The entrance will also remain open to boats, however, there will be certain areas under the bridge where boats cannot go.

READ ALSO Wild weather washes away more of lake foreshore forcing removal of playground

Erosion around the lake foreshores has become an increasing problem in recent years.

In April, Wollongong City Council was forced to dismantle a playground at Windang which was at risk of collapsing into Lake Illawarra following torrential rains.

At the time, council general manager Greg Doyle said there had been significant erosion of the foreshore since 2007, when Lake Illawarra’s entrance channel was permanently opened.

“The impact of climate change and the likelihood of more flood and storm events like what we experienced last weekend [6 April] and in February 2022 mean that this type of erosion is not a one-off event,” he said.

“While there have been challenges with this site for some time, the escalation of erosion clearly demonstrates an increased urgency for all agencies involved to move forward collaboratively on immediate and long-term plans to manage the lake and surrounds.’’

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