August 20 - 26, 2023: Issue 595


Mona Vale Road (East) Upgrade: Fauna Bridge Supports Installed

4am Friday August 18 2023, the fauna bridge installation works completed successfully. Photo: courtesy Transport for NSW/RMS (and Lorraine; who has rescued so many wallabies along this section)

On Friday morning, at 4am in the freezing cold, the supports for the new Fauna Bridge overpass were installed. 

This is the first dedicated wildlife overpass in Greater Sydney.

Contractors, the Georgiou Group, advised they had scheduled the fauna bridge overpass supports installation and partial and full closure of Mona Vale Road between Manor Road and Ponderosa Parade on Thursday 17 August and Friday 18 August, weather permitting.

They needed to carry out this work at night to;
  • safely install the fauna bridge supports
  • minimise traffic disruptions
  • reduce safety risks to workers and motorists.
There was to be a partial and full closure of Mona Vale Road over two nights; Thursday 17 August from 9pm to 6am, westbound lane closure for bridge support delivery and Friday 18 August from 9pm to 10:30pm westbound lane closure and from 10:30pm to 5am full closure of Mona Vale Road.

The overpass is one of 4 fauna passes announced for the upgrade - one bridge and an underpass for the East upgrade and the same again for the West upgrade.

In 2014 Pittwater Natural Heritage Association, Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association (Northern Beaches) and Katandra Bushland Sanctuary Trust began campaigning to connect threatened bushland reserves in the Pittwater area in a bid to help stop the decline of our native fauna.

According to information gathered by local wildlife volunteers in 2015 – 2016 over 53 wallabies died on Mona Vale Road between Terrey Hills and Mona Vale. Although Wallabies were counted as an indicator species, many other native species have also died on Mona Vale Road, including possums and echidnas. These distressing statistics sparked members of these community groups into calling for action to reduce roadkill on this road.

In May 2016, when the National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Adjustment of Areas) Bill 2016 was passed on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 part of the speeches during the Reading of this Bill focused on the necessity to make provision for a fauna bridge or bridges.

In September 2017, after years of lobbying NSW Roads and Maritime Services to get more fauna underpasses and overpasses included in the upgrade of Mona Vale Road East, Jacqui Marlow, Marita Macrae and David Palmer of Pittwater Natural Heritage Association were told at a meeting with NSW Roads and Maritime Services that the fauna crossings they had been campaigning for were now included in the final plans for the eastern section of the road upgrade.

This completed the suite of fauna road crossings that have been planned for the upgraded Mona Vale Road between Mona Vale and Terrey Hills. This included both sides of the road being fenced along its entire length to guide native animals to the crossing sites.

In March 2018 the officially announcement confirming the MVR West Upgrade fauna bridge was made.

There are actually 4 fauna passes - 2 for East and 2 for West - 2 x bridges and 2 x underpass, as stated in 2018. This is the result of work by PNHA and WRPA in concert with the great staff at Transport for NSW/RMS over a few years - they commenced talks about this soon after the project was announced - along with support and backing from former Pittwater MP Rob Stokes.

The MVR East upgrade fauna pass locations (per 2018 project documents):

Placement of West upgrade fauna passes (these were identified as places where our wildlife crosses through the data collected by wildlife rescuers and carers and the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association, along with local wildlife rescuers in WIRES and Sydney Wildlife Rescue) per 2-18 documents:

In November 2018 Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced the NSW Government has awarded the construction contract for the upgrade of Mona Vale Road East. The contract was awarded to Georgiou Group Pty Ltd and onsite works were expected to commence in February 2019, after the summer holiday period. 

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association and Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association also asked for fauna fences to be placed alongside the works sites to prevent wildlife deaths before the project commenced. The cutting into bush to widen the footprint of the build was creating more exposed access to this dangerous road, and likely to lead to more wildlife injuries and deaths.

The campaign was led by Jacqui Marlow of the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association.

The groups involved were also advised that nest boxes had been installed to compensate for loss of nest sites within the construction zone. Forty boxes were said to have been installed around Mona Vale Road East and another forty around Mona Vale Road West. 

In May and then June 2019 confirmation these would be installed was received, an announcement that had been worked towards as part of the pre-commencement mitigation against wildlife deaths

However, reports were coming in from residents that local fauna was being killed - three wallabies were killed on Mona Vale road, a Monday night, on June 3rd 2019 alone. Pittwater Online also received reports from residents of Warriewood, one lady stating a wallaby was bounding down their street in the middle of the day, 'looking very distressed and scared'. 

Wallabies are usually out at dusk, night and dawn to feed - not bounding down a suburban road in the middle of the day.

Three months later, on Friday September 20, 2019 a Transport for NSW spokesperson stated:

''Fauna fencing is now being installed along the Mona Vale Road East upgrade corridor.

Fencing is also being installed opposite the Mona Vale Road West upgrade as part of early work, on the southern side of the road between Kimbriki Road and Tumburra Street at Ingleside.

The fauna fencing is being progressively installed as road work continues and will aim to minimise the likelihood of fauna crossing Mona Vale Road.

The fencing will be 1.8 metres high and dug into the ground to ensure all fauna cannot make their way under the fence.''

The fences were finally beginning to be installed in late September 2019.

October 2019 Pittwater Online pictorial update of MVR East upgrade; fauna fences installed

It's important to remember that all the people in all these groups are volunteers who have put in years towards this result - countless studies and papers were written or cited, data collected and shared - and unwavering support by former Pittwater MP Rob Stokes along with a core group of great people at Transport for NSW and the contractors made this happen.

Readers may recall workers from the Mona Vale Road East upgrade calling in Sydney Wildlife Rescue volunteers to save a nest of plover eggs in Spring 2019 and move these, and their parents, to where they would be safe. 

PNHA member Marita Macrae attended the installation, sharing;
''The main girder arrived about 10pm and by about 11.20 it was in place across the road.  From a huge mobile crane in the middle of the road a cable was attached to each end of the girder which was slowly lifted. It was turned at right angles so that its ends were above the foundations on each side of the road. Then it was lowered into place. 

The event was illuminated by very bright lights. 

The bridge will planted with local native vegetation. As the road edges will be fenced, fauna wishing to move from bushland on each side of the road will be directed to the bridge. Fauna roadkill will be prevented and traffic safety ensured as animals on roads can cause accidents.

PNHA and others campaigned hard for this bridge so we are delighted to see it becoming a reality. ''

Jacqui Marlow was also thrilled, as can be seen below!

Overpass: An artist's impression of an animal overpass that will be build along Mona Vale Road West. Picture: courtesy NSW Government

Marita also shared the photos she took of the installation - very interesting and an insight into how this is done and why the road was closed:

The work done on Thursday and Friday is great news for our local wildlife and an indication of how much locals care for these other locals. Determined to turn the tide on the loss of these wonderful urban wallabies and kangaroos, urban echidnas, urban pythons, urban koalas, urban turtles, eastern pygmy possums, brushtail possums, bandicoots and ringtail possums, this realised safety bridge signals a big step in the right direction after heading the other way for much too long.

HUGE thanks are due to PNHA and WRPA, especially the three pictured below - and thank you Mr. Stokes, Transport for NSW, RMS and Georgiou - there are no words that express how ecstatic the many who look out for and after these lovelies and their homes now feel. 

The silence still reigning in the bush after the 2019/20 fires, the sound of chainsaws that are next door or down the street and also 'out of sight', razing 85 hectares of habitat, of homes, every single hour by 2019 studies, has had one note sounded back into that destruction this past week - can you hear what it says?;

'Put it back - put it all back now; and take much much better care once all is restored'. 
'Thank You'.

Photo: David Palmer, Jacqui Marlow and Marita Macrae celebrate the June 2017 announcement of a fauna bridge to be built over Mona Vale Rd East. 


Photo: August 19 2023 - Jacqui Marlow, David Palmer and Marita Macrae celebrate the installation of the MVR East Upgrade fauna bridge supports.

The Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association aims to reduce the roadkill of native animals on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. In 2005, the association was formed to address wildlife roadkill and raise awareness of broader conservation issues for our area.

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association was formed to act to protect and preserve the Pittwater areas major and most valuable asset - its natural heritage.

Pittwater Natural Heritage Association seeks to raise awareness and provide information and advice to members on issues such as:

Native Tree Canopy

Identification of trees local to your particular area. What to plant to replace dead or dying trees, and how to care for trees. The characteristic form of the native tree canopy is a major contributor to Pittwater's sense of place.

"Bush Friendly" Gardens

Selecting plants for your garden that will live in harmony with nearby bushland and provide habitat for native animals and birds.

Building and Landscaping

Promoting practices which preserve and protect the visual qualities of the landform, preserve soil stability and prevent erosion of steep slopes and siltation of waterways.

Weed Infestation

Information on noxious and environmental weeds, weed identification and methods of control and eradication.

Living with Wildlife

Maintaining habitat and wildlife corridors for our rich and diverse native fauna. Understanding the impacts of introduced birds and animals and uncontrolled domestic pets.

Keeping our Waterways Healthy

Using and enjoying our waterways and estuaries whilst maintaining appropriate water quality and habitat for aquatic creatures. Caring for the streams, wetlands, saltmarsh and mangrove systems that are an integral part of our waterways.

Rock Platforms, Beaches and Dunes

Protecting and preserving the plant and animal communities on rock platforms. Restoration and regeneration of dune systems and maintenance of their stability.

Find out more and become a member at:

Above and below: how the fauna overpass looked on Saturday morning. Photos by Jacqui Marlow.

Previous reports: