Bounty Street Bridge closure

Due to significant public safety risk, Bounty Street Bridge will need to be closed to traffic immediately. The Australian Government and Norfolk Island Regional Council agree this action is necessary while remedial works are undertaken.

On 18 January, I informed the community that technical investigations of the bridge would occur in the coming weeks and it was planned to change access arrangements to reduce the bridge to one lane only.

Unfortunately, during the subsequent inspection by the expert engineering team, it was found the condition of the bridge and specifically the arch is significantly worse than anticipated.

A number of previous technical reports into the condition of the bridge found evidence the bridge is sinking and moving. Subsidence of the north end of the bridge has been observed over many years.

Engineering experts have now advised the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications there is real risk the bridge will collapse and reducing traffic to one way only is not enough – the expert advice is that the bridge needs to be closed to protect public safety.

In response, the Department is working with Council to close the bridge to all traffic other than pedestrians and cyclists until a long term solution can be implemented.

Designs and cost estimates for a structural solution to stabilise the bridge will be developed in 2020.

I acknowledge the importance of the bridge and regret the inconvenience that its closure will cause to the community. This action is necessary to protect the safety of residents and visitors to Kingston, and the heritage value of the bridge itself.

The Bounty Street Bridge was constructed in about 1835 and is one of only a small number of remaining architecturally designed stone bridges from the early nineteenth century. The road and bridge carry the name of the ship HMS Bounty. The bridge’s association with Pitcairn Islander heritage after resettlement in 1856 is of historical and contemporary significance. The bridge is constructed of local calcarenite stone with a sandstone arch.

For further information, please contact Heritage Manager Martin Purslow on 23115.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island

13 February 2020