Ferry Load Restriction At Tailem Bend To Be Lifted

Ferry Load Restriction At Tailem Bend To Be Lifted

South Australia Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan

Tailem Bend Load Limit To Be Lifted After Launch Of Second Steel-Hull Ferry

Victor P Taffa

The ferry load restriction at Tailem Bend will be lifted after the launch of the second of the State Government’s four new steel-hull ferries.

“This is a fantastic project in which a great benefit is provided to Riverland communities by Riverland communities.” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan said.

“Compared with some of the other locations, Tailem Bend is a busy ferry crossing, particularly for heavy vehicles.”

The new ferry will be located near Narrung, on the Lower Lakes, which is the most remote ferry crossing in the State.

“Narrung is our most remote ferry, about 238 km from the Morgan dockyard.” Mr. Mullighan said.

The timber-hull ferry at Tailem Bend, which is currently operating under a 12-tonne load limit, will be replaced by the 50-tonne steel hull ferry currently operating at Narrung.

The new ferry hull was built by local Mid Murray family business Bowhill Engineering before being fitted out at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Morgan dockyard.

“If the ferry isn’t operating, road users are forced to make an 80 km detour, so it makes good sense operationally to have our newest and most reliable vessel located there.” Mr. Mullighan said.

“These projects are providing a local jobs and economic boost to River Murray communities, whether it’s family-owned business Bowhill Engineering, building the hulls, our staff fitting out the vessels at DPTI’s Morgan dockyard or the locals who operate the ferries 24/7.”

Last month Bowhill Engineering was awarded the contract to construct the two remaining ferry hulls to complete the fleet by 2018.

“Ferries form a vital part of our road traffic network along the River Murray, providing a means for freight, commuters, tourists and all road users to cross the river safely and conveniently.” Mr. Mullighan said.

Weather permitting, the new ferry is due to be in operation at Narrung from July 20, with the steel-hull ferry in operation at Tailem Bend on August 3.


The State Government has invested $12.8 Million to complete the renewal of the River Murray ferry fleet with four new ferries by 2018.

There are 12 River Murray ferry crossings at 11 locations in South Australia and currently load restrictions are in place at Cadell, Mannum (upstream) and Tailem Bend.

Ferry services will be suspended at Narrung on July 18 and 19 for the ferry to be commissioned and tested, ahead of operation.

Weather permitting the relocated ferry is expected to arrive at Tailem Bend to begin operation on August 3.