New Mandagery Creek bridge now open to two-way traffic

Motorists in the NSW Central West are enjoying full access to a stronger, safer and wider Mandagery Creek Bridge for the first time.

Both lanes of the new $12 million bridge at Manildra opened to two-way traffic for the first time last night, following 21 months of construction.

About 2000 vehicles a day are expected to use the bridge and one-quarter of those are heavy vehicles.

The new bridge has been built with wider lanes and higher mass limits to boost transport efficiency in Western NSW.

Work started in September 2022 to replace the original bridge on Henry Parkes Way that had provided access to the Manildra town centre and been a key link between Orange and Parkes for almost 100 years.

The project included the innovative staged demolition of the original bridge in conjunction with the simultaneous half-half construction of a new bridge on the same alignment, allowing one lane of traffic to be maintained across Mandagery Creek for most of the construction period.

While both lanes of the new bridge are now open some other finishing work will be completed in coming weeks including:

  • line-marking and sign installation
  • reinstating kerbs around temporary site accesses
  • site decommissioning including the removal of walkways, cabins and construction materials
  • and the completion of a heritage interpretation area to remain in place as a local landmark.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said:

“I am so pleased that after nearly two years, the Manildra and broader Central West communities can finally use the new Mandagery Creek Bridge.

“The decision to build the new bridge on the same alignment as the original bridge meant that up to 10 full weekend closures were scheduled to carry out the work, meaning 30-minute detours through Cudal to get from one side to the other.

“With the help of a new vibration monitoring technique – using sensors to measure traffic vibration along the length of the completed upstream half of the bridge – the number of full bridge closures was reduced to just four in a win for the local community, tourists and freight operators.

“I was so impressed when I visited last year to see first-hand the way this innovative vibration monitoring allowed for a number of critical bridge construction activities to be carried out under traffic.

“The new bridge will be far more resilient and provide better productivity for freight operators which will help local companies gain efficiencies in their freight costs.”

Independent Member for Orange Phil Donato said:

“The original Mandagery Creek Bridge was built in 1930 but its narrow lanes no longer met modern design standards and a durability assessment identified extensive carbonation, low concrete strength and cracking in the original structure.

“The new Mandagery Creek Bridge is an important investment in this area that delivers a longer lasting, stronger bridge providing a smoother ride for all motorists.

“In addition, the increased mass limits will provide a welcome boost for freight operators travelling around and through the region, while also supporting the regional economy through improved links to the Parkes Special Activation Precinct.”

Labor’s spokesperson for Orange, Stephen Lawrence MLC said:

“This is a wonderful milestone for the people of Manildra and surrounding areas.

“The community has enjoyed watching the bridge take shape over the past 21 months and they have now been rewarded with a vital piece of local and regional infrastructure that will serve many generations to come.”

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