New investment in upgrading aging bridges

bridges renewal program round 4

Applications have now closed for the latest stage in the Federal Government’s $480 million Bridges Renewal Program, with successful projects to be announced in mid-2019.

Round Four of the program will see $65 million invested in replacing or upgrading aging bridges, in partnership with local communities throughout Australia.

The commitment will see more vital local bridgeworks projects funded after being approved following the completion of an open, merit-based selection process.

Round Four will see the Federal Government contribute up to a maximum of $700,000 for one bridge or $1.4 million for two bridges in the same local government area.

The Bridges Renewal Program provides up to 50 per cent towards the cost of repairing or replacing old and unsafe local bridges with this funding investment directed to local councils to spend.

Local governments are able to apply for funding to advance projects which enhance their local communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said more than 90 local councils had applied for funding through more than 140 projects nationwide.

“Overall the Australian Government is investing $480 million for these vitally important bridgeworks between 2015 and 2022, with an ongoing commitment of $60 million each year following,” Mr McCormack said.

“Around 290 projects, funded under the first three rounds of the Bridges Renewal Program, have either been completed or are well underway.”

Mr McCormack said the Bridges Renewal Program is part of the Federal Government’s $75 billion ten-year infrastructure plan.

The program’s structure is designed to ensure the Federal Government achieves maximum value from these important local investments, by working with local councils.

Mr McCormack said a prime example was the brand new concrete bridge which connects Crossmaglen Valley with neighbouring Bonville on the New South Wales North Coast, which he unveiled in 2018.

“School buses servicing the Crossmaglen Public School as well as milk tankers and other heavy vehicles servicing the agricultural industry can now cross the bridge several times a day with greater safety, efficiency and confidence,” he said.

“This is a great local result which was warmly welcomed by the local community and acknowledged as something which makes a real difference in their lives through a safer and more efficient journey.

“Bridgeworks completed under the Bridges Renewal Program such as replacing old timber bridges or building higher and wider concrete structures, all represent a win-win for everyone involved and help to make our communities safer and stronger; especially those in our regions.”

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