Community consultation sessions will be held at for Inland Rail at Albury, Wagga Wagga and Junee in NSW this month, providing locals with information on project options and an opportunity to make their voices heard.
To enable the passage of double-stacked container trains along the 185 kilometres of Inland Rail line between Albury and Illabo, twelve structures will require either enhancement or replacement.
Inland Rail’s stakeholder relations manager for NSW Helena Orel said that the goal of the sessions was to allow the community to hear about the local benefits of the project and to enable them to give feedback and voice issues, concerns and ideas concerning the different options for bridges along the line.
“In some areas, we can lower the track so trains can pass under an existing bridge, but for others the only options are raising an existing bridge or replacing it,” Orel said.
Four bridges in Albury will need to be changed: the Riverina Highway Bridge and the Billy Hughes Bridge will likely be lowered, while the footbridge at Albury station will be replaced entirely and the Murray River Bridge modified.
In Culcairn, to Albury’s north, the preferred option is to remove the unused footbridge near the station, while, at Wagga Wagga, track would be lowered at the Pearson Street Bridge and several foot and road bridges to be replaced.
In Junee, the option being explored is the removal of the decommissioned footbridge at the station. The preferred solution for the Kemp Street road bridge is replacing, while options for the rail bridge on the Olympic Highway are being considered.
“But before we decide which options we choose for these sites we need to hear from the locals,” Orel said.
“We know whatever option is chosen will have an impact on access for people and vehicles so it is vital we get feedback on what is being planned, and what transport or infrastructure alternatives can be provided while the work is underway.
“The feedback will be used to help format the design solutions chosen by the team.”
The first community session is on Thursday 13 September in Junee, then Albury on 24 September and Wagga Wagga on 25 September. The project team will be at the Henty Machinery Field Days from 18-20 September.