• Tony Bosworth

Major part of historic Windsor Bridge sold by demolition company to private buyer crashes off truck

On Wednesday afternoon a truck carrying a rare and substantial piece of 19th century pier support from the 1874 Windsor Bridge - sold by the demolition company and bought by a mystery local buyer - broke loose and led to a truck trailer overturning in Ebenezer at 2.20pm.

Fortunately no-one was injured in the incident on Sackville Road as the heavy pier section was thrown off the trailer as it overturned and rolled along the road – deeply gouging the tarmac before coming to rest against a power pole.

Pictures - Margaret Mitchell

Back in November 2020 Transport for NSW acted swiftly when told by the Post the demolition boss was selling bridge artefacts for cash from the Windsor bridge site.

He was advertising them online on Gumtree.

TfNSW banned the sale of those items and said they would investigate.

Last November TfNSW told the Post they ordered the contractor to take down the Gumtree advertisement and to cease sale of any bridge items.

“As soon as we were made aware of the advertisement we directed the contractor to take the advertisement down and stop further transactions,” said a TfNSW spokesman in November 2020.

The pier being removed from the road at Sackville. Picture - Margaret Mitchell

“Transport for NSW engaged in extensive consultation on the heritage items related to the Windsor Bridge replacement project including aboriginal and colonial era artefacts.

“As part of this consultation, Transport for NSW provided the 12 railing pedestals requested by Hawkesbury City Council. Samples of the steel tubular sections and cross bracing from the bridge piers will also be provided to council when work on the piers is completed.”

But now they are clearly allowing parts of the bridge to be sold on the open market.

In November last year, the owner of the demolition company Rob Moltoni told the Post the bridge was his and he could do as he wanted with it.

Today – Thursday – TfNSW told us, “the old Windsor Bridge is currently being demolished, and as part of that demolition, steel piers have been removed.

“Some of the piers are being donated to Hawkesbury City Council to be preserved.

“The remaining piers will be disposed at a recycled metal or waste facility.”

Bridge sections have been photographed and videoed by heritage activists regularly being crushed by excavators at the Windsor riverside demolition site.

This is where the crashed pier landed - fortunately no-on was hurt. Picture - Margaret Mitchell

But not this one, apparently – it was on its way to a private buyer when there was an accident and the heavy pier rolled across busy Sackville Road.

Incredibly no-one was hurt, though the road was closed while the truck and its heavy heritage cargo were moved.

“Transport for NSW is aware a member of the public arranged with the demolition contractor to obtain a single pier to transport from site to their property,” a TfNSW spokesperson told us today.

“This is the vehicle and item involved in the crash at Ebenezer on Wednesday 21 April.

“Transport for NSW takes safety of our employees, contractors and members of the public seriously and is continuing to look into this matter.”

The 1897 cast iron cylinder bridge pier unit which crashed off the truck trailer was built to be placed on top of the 1874 piers. These were the uppermost pier sections from the historic Windsor Bridge.

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