The new $323.7 million Echuca-Moama Bridge project, the largest transport infrastructure project in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, will open on 10 April 2022, months ahead of schedule.
Locals and visitors are being invited to enjoy an early viewing of the new river crossing which will connect the Murray Valley Highway in Echuca with the Cobb Highway in Moama at a special community event.
Visitors will have a unique view of the bridge and the chance to walk the new road prior to opening to vehicles.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project would deliver travel and economic benefits to the region.
“We fought for the funding for the new Echuca-Moama Bridge and we secured it. And now we’ve delivered the biggest transport infrastructure project this region has seen,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is a once-in-a-generation project that will transform this region, keeping commuters moving and freight flowing to our ports, helping our nation get paid for the products we produce.”
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said the new river crossing would be warmly welcomed by the local community in Echuca and Moama.
“The community has been waiting for decades for a second river crossing to better connect Echuca and Moama and we’re delighted to be able to deliver that for them months ahead of schedule,” Ms Allan said.
“I look forward to standing there with the community and celebrating the opening of a landmark project that will keep Echuca and Moama moving for decades to come.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said one of the project’s most important legacies would be creating a significant long-standing connection between New South Wales and Victoria.
“The new river crossing will provide an essential tourism link between Victoria and New South Wales, with the more than one million people who visit this popular tourist hot spot annually now able to commute between both towns far more easily,” Mr Farraway said.
“In addition to boosting tourism, the project has created more than 400 direct jobs and up to 1,100 indirect jobs, with many local businesses and suppliers employed to provide ongoing services.”
Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, said the long-awaited second Murray crossing complements a string of projects underway or completed on both sides of the border, each moving forward with funding from the Federal Government.
“From upgrades along the Newell Highway, work towards another new crossing at Swan Hill-Murray Downs, to local Roads to Recovery and black spot funding including a number of Heavy Vehicle safety projects,” Ms Ley said.
Workers have clocked more than 640,000 hours so far on Stage 3 of the project alone. This includes more than 40,000 hours worked by apprentices, trainees and cadets, which exceeds the project’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee commitment by 25 per cent.
The Echuca-Moama Bridge Project is jointly funded by the Australian, Victorian and New South Wales governments.