Echuca-Moama Second Bridge Crossing

RSA | Pre-Opening | Post-Opening | Bridges

RSA undertook design stage, pre and post opening stage road safety audits. The pre-opening stage audit assessed the constructed work on its merits to check if there were any construction issues or unexpected issues between the design and the existing road environment. The intention was not to assess the design itself unless issues were viewed to pose immediate or obvious safety hazards. As far as practicable, the post opening audit observed road (and path!) user behaviour, and any operational issues.

The pre-opening stage audit was carried out days before the opening of the bridge, however, the client went beyond contract requirements by inviting RSA to carry out an early pre-opening stage road safety audit weeks before its opening so that any key issues could be addressed well before the opening of the bridge. This approach paid off, with RSA identifying issues such as:

– The two larger bridge expansion joints had long gaps that could catch a road / hybrid bike tyre. The assumption was that cyclists would generally use the separated SUP, however there is nothing stopping cyclists using the road itself, and this should be expected by cyclists who are comfortable on-road. This issue was resolved prior to the bridge opening.
– Suitability of SUP ‘partial’ fencing given the large and steep batter drop
– Important signs being visually blocked by other signs, some of which were deemed to be unnecessary signs

Due to the scope of the audit (the bridge), a large focus of the audits was on safety barrier details including cast in situ sections of concrete barriers, transitions between barriers, rails, and fixings such as plates and signs.

Audits were partly undertaken by bicycle, both for easy of transiting around, and to ‘check out’ the paths. Indeed, RSA were the first cyclists on the bridge!

A minor challenge with some audit issues and recommendations was the project spanning two road authority jurisdictions (DOT Victoria and TfNSW). This can affect the details of a treatment, or, whether to offer suggestions in the audit at all.
However, the first principles of the issues and the suggestion types rarely change (safety is safety!).

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