Motorists using the New England Highway next week should plan for disruptions with preparation works to replace the Gowrie Gates rail bridge near Singleton starting on Tuesday morning as part of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) regular maintenance shutdown next week.
From 7am on Tuesday till 6pm Thursday ARTC will be delivering more than 100 different projects across the Hunter Valley, including preparing to build a new rail bridge and widen the highway at the Gowrie Gates in partnership with Roads and Maritime Services.
“Next week’s works involve placing large concrete girders weighing over 200 tonnes, which are the support structures and base for the new bridge which will run parallel to the existing one,” said ARTC’s Group Executive for the Hunter Valley Network Jonathan Vandervoort. “That bridge will then be put in place in November.”
“Over the three days of works all traffic on the New England Highway will be diverted onto a purpose built temporary road running to the south of the bridge and the work area. Traffic control and a reduced speed limit of 40 kilometres an hour in both directions will be in place for the safety of workers and motorists. Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and follow the direction of signs and traffic control.
While the bridge works at Gowrie Gates are the major activity during the shutdown period it is not the only thing happening.
“Over the three days we will have over 1000 crew members working around the clock to complete nearly 130 jobs,” said Mr Vandervoort. “With limited train services running it allows maintenance crews to do jobs like track reconditioning, grinding, ballast cleaning and rerailing that typically can’t be completed during normal operations.”
“If you live near the rail corridors can we ask you to be extra careful as there will be increased truck and machinery traffic. Also, temporary traffic delays and detours may occur to ensure safe access in and out of the work areas.”
The shutdown will affect all Hunter Valley passenger train services, with alternative bus services provided. Details and schedules can be found at the Transport for NSW website.