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Update: River Murray timber-hulled ferries safety precautions

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

8 April 2015

To maintain the safety of the River Murray ferry services the Lyrup ferry will be derated from Thursday 16 April 2015, and the Tailem Bend ferry will undergo a safety inspection on Tuesday 28 April 2015.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Chief Operating Officer, Paul Gelston said that these timber-hulled ferries are aged between 60 to 80 years old andthe upcoming temporary weight restriction and independent safety inspection are required to maintain the longevity of the ferries for safe operations.

“Following an independent safety inspection in late February this year, the Lyrup ferry will be de-rated to carry vehicles with a laden or unladen vehicle mass of no more than 6 tonnes from Thursday 16 April 2015,” he said.

“Heavy vehicles above the 6 tonne in weight limit will need to use alternative crossing points, either via Paringa Bridge or Berri Bridge.

“Emergency vehicles with a laden or unladen 16 tonne weight restriction per vehicle will be able to use the Lyrup Ferry in emergencies only.”

Advance warning signs have been placed in the area to advise heavy vehicle drivers of the weight restriction.

On Tuesday 28 April 2015 the Tailem Bend ferry will be closed for an independent safety inspection. The alternative ferry crossings are Murray Bridge upstream and Wellington downstream.

A decision regarding Tailem Bend ferry service weight limits will be made following the independent safety inspection.

Mr Gelston highlighted that the River Murray ferries weight restrictions are only a temporary measure to extend the ferries’ service life until newer, steel-hulled replacement ferries are available.

“Two steel-hulled ferries are currently being constructed and will be commissioned over the next 18 months with the first ferry expected by end of 2015 and second in 2016,” he said.

“We appreciate how important these services are to local businesses and communities and thank you for your patience.”

The Mannum (Upstream) and Cadell ferries had weight restrictions of 10 tonnes and 16 tonnes respectively imposed earlier this year.

For more information or to be on DPTI ferries mailing list please email: