The NSW Liberals and Nationals government is committed to improving road safety and freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges at 17 key locations across rural and regional NSW over the next five years.
NSW roads minister Duncan Gay joined the Nationals duty member of the legislative council (MLC) and Gunnedah local resident Sarah Mitchell in Gunnedah recently to make the announcement, which includes the replacement of Gunnedah railway bridge and Tulludunna bridge near Wee Waa.
“Roads are the key transport mode for country residents and the NSW Government is determined to upgrade them,” Duncan Gay said. “Even though times are tough, it’s important to invest in vital transport infrastructure to help boost economic growth.
“Today we are committing an additional $135 million to this important project and we hope the federal government will soon respond to the submission we made in August seeking funding for these bridge replacements and upgrades,” Gay added. “I want to urge our federal counterparts to support rural and regional NSW and our state’s economy as a whole by investing in better bridges for the national freight network.
“Bridges for the Bush will mean the replacement or upgrade of five priority bridges to enable them to carry higher mass limits and replacing or upgrading 12 timber truss bridges.
“It’s estimated that replacing or upgrading the five HML deficient bridges alone will remove 8000 heavy vehicle trips from the freight task each year, saving the state more than $200 million in economic, social and environmental costs over the next 30 years,” Duncan continued. “The NSW government worked closely with the logistics sector, local councils and the NSW Heritage Council to develop a targeted list of bridges to be replaced or upgraded over the next five years.
“Bridges for the Bush is part of an integrated program of works over the next five years, including a $277 million investment to upgrade grain rail branch lines, to enhance freight productivity in country NSW,” Gay concluded.