Red faces at start of RMS dig

IT WAS red faces all round when investigation work and assessment in preparation for the construction of the new Windsor Bridge began —  in the wrong place.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) started investigation work for the continuing environmental assessment and design development of the Windsor Bridge on February 8, but last Thursday staff got it wrong when they started digging up the alfresco dining area outside the project boundaries.

Tenant Megan Wood was frantic when work began.

“Nobody even told us this was happening, let alone asked us if it was OK,” she said.

A spokesperson for the RMS said residents in the area were informed of the work by a letterbox drop and an advertisement in the Gazette, but admitted to digging up the wrong subject site.

“Once the location was identified as incorrect, work ceased and excavated materials were returned to the site and the area restored,” the spokesperson said.

“RMS is preparing an incident report on the matter with the findings to be provided to affected local community members.”

Chairman of the Community Action for Windsor Bridge group, Dail Miller, supported calls for an enquiry. He was concerned that mechanical digging took place very close to some of the oldest buildings in the square, a location likely to be rich in archaeological material.

“What damage was done today to any potential archaeology?” Mr Miller asked.

“How was such a fundamental mistake allowed to occur? What assurance do we have that something similar won’t happen again?”

The investigations around Windsor Bridge are set to continue until the end of March.

Some work will be done at night to minimise traffic impacts and ensure worker safety.

The RMS spokesperson said sediment sampling on the Hawkesbury River would be done on Friday, February 22, during the day, and waterway users have been warned to take care near the bridge.

Information regarding the investigation work, including any lane closures or speed limit changes, will be displayed on electronic message signs along the roadway. 

If required, pedestrian diversions will also be clearly marked.

Photo: Kylie Pitt

Photo: Kylie Pitt