Work to replace five aging bridges near Bangalow in the Byron Shire, New South Wales, has begun.
The Booyong Bridge, Parkers Bridge, James Bridge, O’Meara’s Bridge and Scarrabelottis Bridge will be replaced.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, said Bangalow residents would be able to enjoy better, safer and more reliable road access as a result.
“These new bridges will ensure more efficient freight and traffic movement, which will in turn improve productivity for nearby agricultural industries including the Booyong meat processing plant, macadamia, beef and dairy farms,” Mr McCormack said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said upgrading the existing one-lane timber bridges would deliver improved freight movement and the ability of the local businesses to access markets.
“New steel bridges with a load limit of 44 tonnes would replace the old, allowing for the transport of significantly heavier loads, giving time and money back to our local businesses,” Mrs Pavey said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, said, “By replacing the five bridges along the one road network, freight carriers will save both time and money.”
The Bangalow bridges project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $2.59 million under the Bridges Renewal Program and the NSW Government investing $2.59 million from its Restart NSW Fixing Country Roads Program.
Under the Bridges Renewal Program, the Australian Government will provide $420 million from the 2015 to 2016 financial year to the 2020 to 2021 financial year, with an on-going commitment of $60 million each following year to upgrade and replace the bridges.