January 13, 2012

Sydney Harbour Bridge Closed for Up to Three Weekends in January

People planning weekend visits to Sydney in January are being encouraged to plan ahead as the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be closed for essential work.

The Bridge will be closed for up to three weekends to allow for resurfacing of the span and approaches.

“This is the first time such lengthy closures have been required on the Bridge and we know it will impact people visiting the city,” Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Director of Network Services Mike Veysey said.

“We are encouraging people who need to get to the city on the weekends affected to catch the train if possible.

“The Bridge turns 80 in March and this is the first time such extensive work has been carried out on the road surface since it was opened.

“The work is critical to ensure we can lay a waterproof membrane under a new asphalt surface which will not only promote longevity of the bridge deck but provide a smoother ride for motorists.”

The $3.5 million project will be carried out on 13-16, 20-23 and possibly 27-30 January with closures in place from 10pm Friday to 5am Monday.

Bus and rail services will continue to operate, with extra services provided to accommodate people who would usually drive.

“The bus lane will be open so buses, taxis, hire cars and motorbikes can still use the bridge, however delays can be expected,” he said.

“Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained and emergency services will be able to get through if required.”

The work is planned to be carried out during the first two weekends, with the third a contingency in case of poor weather.

“The resurfacing work will include laying a waterproofing layer to protect the Bridge from corrosion,” Mr Veysey said.

“Some of this waterproofing will take several hours to apply and dry so favourable conditions are required.

“While intermittent rain won’t affect the work going ahead, if the forecast is for a prolonged downpour, we will need to look at postponing the work to our contingency weekend.

“We don’t see there will be a problem as January is traditionally warmer but we have an extra weekend in place just in case.”

Mr Veysey said alternative routes across the harbour are being advertised with additional clearways in place in and around the city to help with traffic flow.

The Sydney Harbour Tunnel is expected to be heavily congested during the work.

“The alternative routes to cross the harbour are
King Georges Road
, Ryde Bridge and
Lane Cove Road
; and
Victoria Road
, Gladesville Bridge and
Centennial Avenue
,” Mr Veysey said.

“While traffic volumes in January are generally lower than at other times of the year, on weekends there are still up to 130,000 vehicles using the bridge.

“People who need to get into the city during the closures should leave the car at home and catch a bus or a train.”

Extensive information about alternative routes and clearways will be available in local papers, the internet, via electronic message signs, Live Traffic and private motorway websites.