THE CASE FOR RETAINING HISTORIC WINDSOR BRIDGE

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1. Heritage significance: Windsor Bridge, built in 1874, is one of the oldest existing examples of caisson technology in the world. It is listed on the NSW Section 170 heritage register.
2. Public interest: Currently Hawkesbury Council’s poll shows 85.5% of people want to keep the historic bridge. An online petition on change.org has recorded more than 11,000 votes in favour of keeping the bridge and a recent Channel 9 poll recorded 81%of respondents in favour of keeping the historic Windsor Bridge.
3. Revitalisation of Windsor: Council, local businesses and community are of one mind that keeping the historic bridge is an important component of the plan to revitalise Windsor town centre. Windsor’s heritage is a central focus of future economic and tourism benefits. The bridge repurposed as a community space would reap benefits now and in the future.
4. Community consultation: Peter Stewart reported that “the objective should be to refurbish the existing bridge for alternative local uses” with the new bridge meeting
current standards for heavy loads and through traffic (2013, p. 24)  “This would not only provide the community with an ongoing asset but also preserve the important
heritage embodied in the bridge.  Consultation with the community specifically on
alternative uses may uncover an important contribution to the local social fabric and
this should be explored” (Peter Stewart Consulting, 2013, p. 4).The consultation Mr
Stewart recommended in August 2013 did not occur prior to approval of the Windsor
Bridge Replacement Project in December 2013. This consultation has never occurred.
5. Structural condition of the bridge: There are no comprehensive reports written by
experienced bridge engineers that recommend the demolition of Windsor Bridge. The bridge is structurally sound and, in material provided to Robyn Preston MP, Transport for NSW has confirmed that it could be rehabilitated for pedestrian and other community uses. Reputable bridge engineers have inspected Windsor Bridge and reported that it has the capacity for use for the next 50 years with regular maintenance.
6. Safety: Until it was closed to traffic in May 2020, Windsor Bridge was safe. Its capacity to carry unrestricted loads was re-confirmed by Transport for NSW after the February 2020 flood.
7. Negligible flood risk: Despite being inundated by 86 floods in its service life, Windsor Bridge has sustained no significant damage due to flooding. Hydrology modelling predicts that if the historic bridge is retained with the new bridge, the historic bridge is likely to effect a maximum 6-centimetre rise in water level during a one in five-year flood.
8. Cost effectiveness: Transport for NSW has cited cost effectiveness as a reason for demolishing Windsor Bridge and reported $18 million as the cost of refurbishment. Peter Stewart reported that refurbishment of the existing bridge could be achieved “at a cost such that it can function for the next 50 years with little ongoing maintenance” (2013, p. 4). The cost of refurbishing the Windsor Bridge compares favourably with the reported $15-$25 million cost of refurbishing historic Nowra Bridge. Refurbishing Windsor Bridge would be a worthy Government investment in the Hawkesbury.