Controversy over "collapse" of river bank at bridge replacement site during one in 20-year rain event

Controversy has erupted over works at the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project, with a lobby group claiming part of the river bank "collapsed" following recent rain.

Heritage Act, a group currently focused on protesting against the project, stated on its Facebook page on January 6 that the site had “taken a battering over the past two weeks with shocking collapse of part of the river bank”.

Construction on the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project in November last year. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Construction on the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project in November last year. Picture: Geoff Jones.

“This is not the first time there has been a collapse where they are attempting to build a stable surface, and silt has accumulated at the bottom from under the rocks, along with part of the river bank that has no rocks, which has slipped down to the water's edge,” the post stated.

The group stated work recommenced by contractors on the site on January 8 “starting to repair where part of the bank collapsed into the river due to rain over the Christmas break”.

The group also posted several pictures showing what appeared to be an earth slippage close to where machinery was working on the river bank.

However, in a statement issued to the Gazette on January 11, a Roads and Maritime spokeswoman said the river bank around the site had “remained stable”.

“In late December, the area around Windsor was subjected to a one in 20 year storm event, with 21 millimetres of rain in eight minutes, followed by an additional 20 millimetres in the following hour,” the spokeswoman said. “This significant amount of rain caused minor flooding along the Hawkesbury River which led to discolouration of the water.

“Investigations along the Hawkesbury River have showed no difference in the water colour between the river downstream and upstream of the project area, and the river bank within the construction site remained stable despite the weather conditions.

“Minor rock lining has also been placed in some locations along the riverbank as an interim measure to protect the slopes from future storms while the rock armouring of the bank is being built.”