The Federal and New South Wales Governments are set to jointly fund a new Melville Ford Bridge and improvements to the Maitland Vale and Melville Ford roads, delivering safer journeys and improved traffic flow thanks to better resilience against flooding. 

When the new bridge is complete, it will be higher, wider and better able to withstand extreme weather conditions, keeping communities connected for longer.

The new bridge will be funded by all levels of government, including joint funding of over $2.5 million from the Federal and State Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements’ Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package, as well as $2.5 million from a New South Wales Government election commitment, and funding through the Fixing Country Bridges Program.

Transport for NSW has also been working with Maitland City Council and other key stakeholders in the region to ensure its roads are better equipped to deal with flood events.

The New South Wales Government has also committed $6 million towards improvements, which council will use to rebuild two sections of Maitland Vale Road and a section of Melville Ford Road, helping ensure residents and road users can rely on these vital routes.

Federal Special Envoy for Disaster Recovery, Tony Sheldon, said that the Federal Government is proud to partner with the New South Wales Government to co-fund this important transport link in the Hunter region.

“The new Melville Ford Bridge will help to ensure the Maitland region remains flood resilient for generations to come,” Mr Sheldon said. 

“The new bridge will help community connections remain intact during extreme weather events, improve access to essential services and response times during emergencies.”

Senator for New South Wales, Deborah O’Neill, said that the Federal Government is delivering on its commitment to supporting rural and regional communities.

“The Melville Ford Bridge will provide crucial support and interconnectedness to the Maitland community, particularly during adverse weather events,” Ms O’Neill said. 

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport & Roads, Jenny Aitchison, said that this announcement delivers on the commitment the State Government made during the election to deliver safer and more reliable road networks in the regions.

“The New South Wales Government committed $6 million towards improvement works for Maitland Vale Road and Melville Ford Road, and $2.5 million for the Melville Ford Bridge, to ensure they remain reliable routes during all kinds of weather,” Ms Aitchison said. 

“I’m pleased to announce Maitland City Council now has access to this funding and will use it to help deliver that security for the people who use the local road network every day.

“We know during construction of the Singleton bypass there will be extra pressure on Maitland Vale Road and Melville Ford Road.

“Coupled with new growth in Maitland, there is a clear need for upgrade work to help relieve pressure on the road network.”

Maitland City Council Mayor, Philip Penfold, said that council is proud to deliver these important upgrades for the people of Maitland.

“We’re going to build a new bridge that’s twice as wide and twice as high so that when minor flooding events do occur the impacts on the community, particularly for people living in suburbs like Bolwarra, Lorn and Largs will be reduced,” Mr Penfold said. 

“Work will involve the construction of a new dual lane, concrete bridge over the Hunter River to replace the existing timber bridge and raising the bridge which will reduce the time that the road is closed or avoid road closures completely.

“We want to make sure Maitland residents are cut off less frequently and for less time during floods and upgrading Maitland Vale Road and Melville Ford Road will help mitigate that.

“Council is working closely with the New South Wales Government to determine the exact scope of work and timelines.”

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