An investigation into the safety of the Eighth Avenue Bridge in Llandilo is being undertaken as the community calls for safety improvements to prevent further tragedies.
A petition has been launched by Cranebrook resident Krystle Cassidy following a serious two car accident on the narrow bridge last month that killed a woman aged in her 20s.
“I use that road every day to get to and from work in the Mt Druitt area and I hate going through the bridge because you have to hold your breath and pray that you cross safely,” Cassidy said.
“When I saw the police had taped it off, I didn’t know the circumstances but you immediately think that it could have been you, so I knew that if I didn’t say something and get others so we can all voice our concerns, then nothing will change.”
Cassidy hopes that a review can lead to a reduction to the speed limit being implemented in the short term before an upgraded and wider bridge could be installed.
A Penrith Council spokesperson said that a joint review of the bridge, which is on the border of the Penrith and Blacktown Local Government Areas, has been started and is ongoing.
“While the details of the tragic accident on the Eighth Avenue bridge remain under investigation by NSW Police, Traffic Engineers from Penrith and Blacktown Councils recently met on site to review the existing road conditions with a view to identifying road safety improvements on the bridge, and its approaches,” the spokesperson said.
“Any proposed road safety initiatives will need to be considered and approved by Council’s Local Traffic Committee.”
Michael Wiecek, who lives on the road, was one of the first on the scene on March 7 and said he has witnessed numerous accidents on the bridge, and agrees that changes are needed.
“I have helped at quite a few accidents going back at least 30 years and I can still remember the first one, which during a massive thunderstorm,” Wiecek recalled.
“The rain had filled up on the road as high as the footpath, as the water doesn’t drain properly which is another issue, and two cars aquaplaned into one another and one was halfway through the railing.”
With the road a thoroughfare to other areas, Wiecek agreed that changes need to happen to accommodate for the increase in traffic.
“There has always meant to be the link road so people in Jordan Springs can exit through Ropes Crossing, but it hasn’t happened and going down Dunheved Road is a traffic jam, so half of those people plus residents from Cranebrook and Llandilo, go this way,” he said.
“The bridge is too narrow for cars and trucks and the speed limit going from 80 kilometres per hour to 60 kilometres per hour needs to be looked at.”
A Blacktown Council spokesperson confirmed that both Councils are working to investigate potential safety issues on the Eighth Avenue Bridge.
“Traffic engineers from both Councils met on site following the accident to conduct a review of the bridge,” the spokesperson said.
“Both Councils will keep the community updated as this investigation progresses.”
To view the petition, visit www.change.org/LlandiloBridge.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.