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Emily Bay Bridge temporary closure and repair

Due to public safety risk, Emily Bay Bridge will be temporarily closed to all traffic for a short period commencing next week while critical safety works are undertaken to repair the bridge.

Cracks in the bridge structure were found during a routine inspection in late November. A subsequent engineering inspection and report has now confirmed there is a risk the convict stone arch beneath the bridge will collapse.

The temporary bridge closure is necessary while these critical remedial works are undertaken - to protect the safety of residents and visitors, maintain the only public vehicle access point to Emily Bay and Point Hunter, and preserve the heritage value of the bridge itself.

Effective immediately, the bridge will be restricted to a maximum 2.5 tonne weight limit which will allow only normal passenger vehicles (including utilities and large SUVs up to this weight, including loads) to cross - no buses or trucks will be permitted.

Then, from Tuesday, 8 December, the bridge will be completely closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the repair works. Due to the safety risk, barricades have been put in place to stop public access under the bridge.

The works will be completed as quickly as possible and are anticipated to be finished by 21 December 2020. A reinforced concrete slab will be constructed to transfer the loads to either side of the bridge, removing direct traffic loads and vibration on the stone arch bridge. These repair works will mitigate the current critical risk while preserving the bridge's heritage fabric.

I regret the inconvenience this temporary closure will cause to the community. While the vehicle access disruption is acknowledged, particularly at this time when tourism and summer activities at the Bay such as camping are increasing, the aim of completing the works now is to minimise disruption later over the peak Christmas and New Year period into January.

The community will be kept updated on the progress of the works and bridge closure. For further information, please contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications' on-island team on 23315.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
2 November 2020