On 25 January this year there was a fire on the pedestrian and cycle bridge between Meadowbank and Rhodes. The bridge is named the Meadowbank Rail Bridge (over the Parramatta River). The new rail bridge beside it, is the John Whitton Bridge, named after the head engineer of the railways who designed the older bridge, which was opened in 1886.
A Channel 7 video of the fire is available HERE
NSW Fire Brigades attended the fire and closed the bridge. At least one sleeper of the old bridge, which supports the new decking, was badly damaged. The bridge also carries major electricity supply cables owned by Ausgrid and one of these was damaged in the fire.
Ausgrid has now assessed the damage to the main cable as minor, and repairs will be finished within a few days. They also need to then test the other cables on the bridge and hopefully they will not need major repairs either.
After the old rail bridge was renovated in 2000 its ownership was passed to Crown Lands which is part of the NSW Department of Industry. They are responsible for repair of the bridge once Ausgrid has made the electricity cables safe. They are expecting to assess the damage next week and we will then know how long before we can again enjoy this wonderful community facility.
Information will also be available on the web sites of Canada Bay and Ryde councils.