Maitland is bracing for major traffic upheavals just six weeks out from Christmas, as Roads and Maritime Services carries out maintenance and repair work to several bridges across the city.
The work will include a three-week night time (6pm to 6am) closure and possible temporary day time closures of The Long Bridge, the main west-bound thoroughfare into the city centre.
It co-incides with the temporary closure of Melville Ford Bridge at Aberglasslyn for repair work, and the temporary closure of Wollombi Road between Green Street, Rutherford and Old North Road, Farley for piling works beneath the rail overpass. This is being carried out by the Australian Rail Track Corporation ARTC).
As a result of the works a number of detours have been put in place across the city with motorists, in some cases, forced to commute longer distances on suburban streets.
Wollombi Road will be closed to traffic from 6am Saturday, November 18 to 6pm Sunday, November 26. A detour will be via Old North Road, Station Lane, the New England Highway and Regiment Road, Rutherford. Access will be maintained for local traffic only.
The Long Bridge will be temporarily closed to traffic between 6pm and 6am from Sunday to Friday beginning Monday, November 20. However some work may need to be carried out between 7am and 5pm from Monday to Friday and between 8am and 2pm on Saturday.
It is expected to be completed in three weeks, weather permitting.
Detour arrangements will be in place via the New England Highway for east-bound motorists and via Ken Tubman Drive and Allan Walsh Drive for west-bound motorists.
Temporary restrictions will also be in place for pedestrians and cyclists, however a lower level footpath and cycleway will remain open while the work is carried out.
An RMS spokesperson said the Maitland bridge work is part of an RMS program, which started in August, to repair and maintain more than 100 bridges across the Hunter. The work is part of the State’s $1.5 billion maintenance program to improve the road network.
The spokesperson said work is being carried out on Maitland bridges, longer than 80 metres, as part of a project to ensure crossings throughout the Hunter are safely maintained. The work will include cleaning decks, minor vegetation clearing, joint and rail maintenance.
In a separate project the State Government is providing $500,000 in funding for essential maintenance work on The Long Bridge.
“Roads and Maritime Services is resurfacing and waterproofing the bridge deck and pedestrian footpaths to ensure the bridge’s future safe operation,” the spokesperson said.
Maintenance work on the following bridges in the Maitland LGA has already been completed:
· Pedestrian Bridge over New England Highway at Avalon Drive, Thornton.
· Pedestrian Bridge over New England Highway at Anzac Street, Maitland.
· Pedestrian Bridge over New England Highway at Devonshire Street, Maitland
· Pedestrian Bridge over New England Highway at Maitland Railway Station.
· Luskintyre Bridge over Hunter River on Luskintyre Road.
· P.Z Trzecinski Bridge over Main Northern Railway on New England Hwy, Maitland.
· Harry Boyle Bridge on Pitnacree Road, East Maitland.
· Belmore Bridge on Belmore Road, Lorn.
· Long Bridge over Flood Channel on High Street, Maitland.
· Temporary Road Closure - Works - Belmore Road, Lorn.
More information about closures and detours can be found on the RMS website.