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Related Newsletter : Grose River Bridge Update
Category : Community Notice

Grose River Bridge Update

Exciting news for all residents wanting a traffic congestion fix at North Richmond. Redbank Communities lodged the development application (PT 50007/22) for the most anticipated Grose River Bridge on 11th April 2022. This highly important infrastructure project involves the extension of Grose River Road, the construction of a dual lane concrete bridge over the Grose River, and a connecting road to a new T-intersection at Springwood Road.

The assessment of the Grose River Bridge development application known as Part 5 has commenced by Hawkesbury City Council and the application along with supporting information will be on public exhibition from Thursday, 12 May 2022 to Monday, 13 June 2022.

To support the added population and to reduce the existing traffic congestion on the arterial road network west of the river Redbank Communities was required to fund the construction of an alternate river crossing which was originally proposed to go through an existing road corridor located in between Navua Reserve and Yarramundi Reserve.

The original DA was Lodged in Nov 2015, however, due to the location it would have been below the 100-year flood level. Hawkesbury City Council had a desire to deliver a bridge above the 100-year flood level and a new location was sought by Council. The Council conducted extensive community consultations on 3 location options and in 2018 resolved to choose the Grose River Road Extension as their preferred option.

This new location was originally considered by Hawkesbury City Council back in 1985 but they did not proceed at the time. In search for an alternative location for the bridge, recent studies have highlighted the area once again as it has minimal impact on Indigenous & European Heritage or biodiversity, and conforms with the existing Grose River Road alignment. The current design of the road corridor and the bridge was supported by Transport for NSW due to compliance with their road design standards and safety requirements after they had assessed a number of varying alignment options.

The preferred road corridor involves acquisition of land through three private properties. The acquisition process is to be conducted by Transport for NSW but will only be finalised once the Part 5 application is approved.

Traffic Solution

The Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) between Redbank Communities, Hawkesbury City Council & Transport for NSW required Redbank Communities to contribute towards traffic solutions in the area between Richmond and North Richmond. Part of that commitment has now been fulfilled with a monetary contribution towards the completed upgrades of Grose Vale Road/Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong Road/Yarramundi Lane, and Bosworth Street/March Street intersections. The completion of the Grose River Bridge and the connecting roads will be fully funded by Redbank Communities and will finalise the strategic plan of traffic congestion improvements.

As Phase 1 of the new Grose River Bridge project, Redbank Communities has already started road improvement works on Grose Vale Road between the existing Redbank Sales office and the Grose River Road intersection. These works include shoulders works, drainage works, resurfacing of the existing road, and construction of a brand-new roundabout at the intersection of Grose Vale Road and Grose River Road to support the flow of future traffic leading up to the new bridge.

This new bridge will improve day to day traffic congestion by reducing current and projected traffic flow on Bells Line of Road North Richmond by approximately 30%. The projected reduction of traffic can be compared to what we experience during school holidays. It will provide more direct access for residents of North Richmond, Bowen Mountain, Grose Vale, Grose Wold and Kurrajong to Penrith via Castlereagh Road and to Richmond/Blacktown Road via The Driftway.

Flood Resilience

This new project not only provides traffic congestion improvements but also will serve the community in terms of flood resilience as it is proposed to be built above the 1:100 year flood level. This means that if we experience flooding like we did in the last few years, the new bridge will provide access to Penrith via Springwood Road and the Great Western Highway without the need to travel the much longer distance through Mount Victoria via Bells Line of Road. During adverse weather and flooding this journey takes 2.5 hours, sometimes longer due to traffic and road conditions. The new bridge will cut this journey down to approximately one hour in adverse weather, and only 45 minutes without delays.

Not only will this new bridge provide enhanced access to residents during times of flood, but it will also give emergency services quicker access for their road vehicles and provides them with additional options for allocating resources.

Load Rating

The Grose River Bridge will be built as per Australian Standard AS5100 which defines a design traffic loading model designated as SM1600. The SM1600 traffic loading accounts for the possibility of two multi-trailer trucks travelling in convoy in a traffic lane. However, the proposed vehicle load limit on the bridge is 5 tonne purely to eliminate heavy vehicles travelling through the local road networks. Heavy emergency vehicles will be exempt from this, so they are able to serve the community in times of need.

Just like the rest of the community, Redbank Communities is eagerly waiting for the development application to be approved so the construction phase can begin for this much awaited piece of community infrastructure. This project once approved will provide our community with an additional choice when travelling, improved travel times, increased flood resilience and enhanced access for emergency services.