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Securing the future of historic Old Murray Bridge

Friday, 6 May 2022

Major refurbishment works to safeguard the future of the State Heritage-listed Old Murray Bridge will commence next weekend (Saturday, 14 May).

Old Murray Bridge was constructed over the Murray River in 1879, and as the first major bridge spanning the Murray River in South Australia, it is a significant State Heritage structure.

Due to its age, cultural importance and critical location in the road network, it now requires refurbishment to maintain its long-term structural integrity. This refurbishment project will improve the heritage value of the bridge and extend its operational life by an estimated 30 years.

The project will be carried out by South Australian company McMahon Services, who successfully won the contract for these works. The works will begin next Saturday, 14 May 2022.

The project will improve pedestrian access and safety for all road users. As well as extending the life of this valuable asset, the major refurbishment is expected to support approximately 70 full time equivalent jobs during construction. The works will include:

  • repainting the bridge to ensure long term corrosion protection of the steelwork and to improve its heritage amenity;
  • cleaning, repair and repointing of the stone abutments and rebuilding the northern parapets (low stone barriers designed to protect the edge of the bridge) to their original height;
  • upgrading road lighting to energy efficient LEDs;
  • installing cathodic protection (for corrosion protection of iron piers);
  • repair of Pier 26;
  • upgrading pedestrian approach fencing to integrate with the existing heritage fencing;
  • upgrading footpaths and drainage at the southern approach;
  • installing interpretive signage to recognise the history of the area; and
  • relocation of utility services to improve pedestrian access.

Ahead of major construction works commencing, the bridge will be temporarily closed from 8am to 4pm on Saturday, 14 May and Sunday, 15 May. These closures are required to allow the work site to be safely established and temporary barriers and traffic management infrastructure installed. Detours will be via the Swanport Bridge.

Following these temporary closures, the bridge will be reopened but reduced to a single lane of traffic, one direction at a time with temporary traffic lights in place at each end of the bridge. This arrangement will continue for the duration of the project. To safely undertake these works, speed restrictions will be in place on the approaches to the bridge.

Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to take care when travelling through the area. On-bridge access will be maintained for pedestrians and cyclists throughout the project, including during periods of temporary closure. Signage will be in place to direct pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge.

Delays are expected so please plan ahead, allow extra travel time and take extra care when workers are on site. Observe speed limits, lane restrictions and traffic controllers when travelling through the area.

Further temporary bridge closures will be required throughout the project, with advanced notice provided via onsite messaging boards and through project updates. The refurbishment is expected to be completed in late 2023, weather permitting.

For more information visit