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Update: River Murray Timber Hulled Ferries Safety Precautions

22 June 2015

To maintain the safety of the River Murray ferry services the Tailem Bend ferry will be subject to load restrictions from this Thursday, 25 June 2015.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Chief Operating Officer Paul Gelston said that the upcoming temporary weight restriction will help maintain the longevity of the Tailem Bend ferry for safe operations.

“Following an independent safety inspection in late April this year, the Tailem Bend ferry will have a load limit applied to carry vehicles with a laden or unladen vehicle mass of no more than 12 tonnes per vehicle from Thursday 25 June,” he said.

“It is important to note that the ferry can still cater for a number of vehicles provided each does not exceed 12 tonnes.

“Heavy vehicles above the 12 tonne weight limit will need to use alternative crossing points, either via upstream Swanport Bridge and downstream Wellington Ferry.

“Emergency vehicles up to 16 tonnes will be able to use the Tailem Bend ferry in emergencies only.”

Signage is being placed in the area to advise heavy vehicle drivers of the weight restriction and the alternative crossing points.

Earlier this year the Mannum (Upstream) and Cadell ferries had weight restrictions of 10 tonnes and 16 tonnes respectively imposed and recently the Lyrup ferry was restricted to carry vehicles with a laden or unladen vehicle mass of no more than 6 tonnes.

Mr Gelston emphasised 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.

“By imposing these load restrictions, we are seeking to ensure that the disruptions to River Murray ferry services are limited,” he said.

“If the Tailem Bend ferry or other River Murray ferries are damaged by a heavy vehicle, it may result in the full closure of a ferry service at a location.”

DPTI is constructing two new steel-hulled ferries; the first of these ferries is scheduled to be ready for service by the end of 2015. Additional funding for two more ferries has been announced today which will bring the steel-hulled ferry fleet to 12.