Work to construct a temporary bridge at Wallendbeen to speed up the opening of Burley Griffin Way for local residents and freight operators, is now underway.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the bridge installation is an engineering challenge and is comprised of modular, pre-engineered steel parts, which are being connected on site over the next three months.

“The bridge is being transported from Sydney to Wallendbeen in 210 pieces and will be assembled on a gravel hardstand that is being constructed next to the site,” Ms Cooke said.

“A team of about 20 workers will build the full length of the bridge in the same way a Meccano set is constructed, with all the pieces snapped together for a perfect fit.

“Once this is done, a 650-tonne crane will lift the completed bridge into place across the rail corridor.

“This installation of the bridge will need to be carefully choreographed to be completed in a timeframe of only four hours, in order to avoid disrupting the train services running on the rail line below.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the replacement crossing over the rail corridor on Burley Griffin Way was urgently needed.

“This temporary bridge will be a 30-metre-long, four-metre-wide, single lane structure that will extend over the railway and be suitable for all vehicles, including PBS (2B) road trains,” Mr Toole said.

“It’s an interim solution that’s going to make a huge difference for both local motorists and the freight industry, who will no longer have to endure the 40-minute detour between Temora and Wallendbeen via Cootamundra.”

The bridge partially collapsed in late March and could have been a disaster if a truck or heavy vehicle was crossing it at the time or if a train was travelling under it at the time.

It brings into question the state of bridges in the area and what is being done to assess the safety of these bridges and fund the replacement of the bridges which have reached the end of their life.

The bridge demolition in March. Photo: Christopher Tan.

The temporary bridge will be open to traffic in September, weather permitting and remain in place while a permanent bridge is designed and constructed.

Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions, plan ahead, and follow the directions of signs and traffic control while this work is taking place. For the latest traffic updates, download the Live Traffic NSW app and visit or call 132 701.