Bridges and load limits

Catho bridge 3.jpg

Load limits are applied to roads and bridges to protect road pavement and bridge structures to ensure safety and reliability for road users. These load limits help to minimise the damage that can be caused by overloaded or heavy vehicles.

In some instances, damage from heavy vehicles may cause a complete closure of a road or bridge while repairs or replacement is completed.

We impose suitable load limits to control the risk of overloaded bridge structures from heavy vehicles to preserve roads and bridges, ensure safety for road users, and maintain access for road users.

Road and bridge load limits in Lake Macquarie

We manage more than 121 pedestrian bridges and 88 vehicle bridges across the city.

Following structural assessments, load limits and traffic controls have been imposed on a small number of bridges across the city.

Bridge limits in Lake Macquarie

Suburb Road or bridge Location Load limit or capacity



Owens Road

Single axle 7t

Tandem axle 9t

Triaxle 10t

 Balcolyn/Silverwater Culvert Beach Road No trucks (GVM greater than 4.5t)

What do load limits mean for me?

Most vehicles are General Access Vehicles - vehicles with unrestricted access to the road network, except where sign posted otherwise, i.e. with Load Limit signs. Load limit signage will refer to either Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or axle group mass based on single, tandem or tri-axle. 

If your vehicle weighs more than the signposted load limit, either Tare Weight (unladen vehicle weight) or Gross Weight (loaded weight) you must not drive past the sign, in accordance with the Road Rules 2014 - Rule 103.

Understanding vehicle mass and dimension limits?

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the maximum loaded mass of a vehicle. The GVM is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is usually displayed on the compliance or identification plate of a vehicle.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is Australia’s independent authority for heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes GVM. The NHVR website provides further detail on general mass and dimensional limits for all types of heavy vehicles, including information relating to Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), Gross Combination Mass (GCM), Tare Weight, and vehicle axle groups.

What do I need to do when I see certain road or bridge load limits?

If your vehicle or a vehicle that accesses your property weighs more than the signposted load limit, you must not drive past this sign. Where possible, you must take an alternative route which allows for the weight of the vehicle.

Where you have heavy vehicles accessing your property by a third party, please ensure the operators are aware of the load limits. If this situation applies to you, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your particular situation, and we will work with you to assess the options available.

If you are unsure whether your vehicle and load complies with the required load limits for any roads or bridges, please contact the vehicle manufacturer or other relevant authority.

How long do load limits remain in place?

The load limits apply to roads and bridges until further notice. In many instances, where possible, we will schedule structural repairs and include these works in our bridge improvement program. This program will be dependent on a range of factors including risk management, the nature of the project, scale of the maintenance or repairs, budgets and operational capacity.