Bridge renewal boosts freight efficiency

Transport for NSW is fixing country roads.

A new bridge in New South Wales is expected to save freight operators and local producers a detour of 50 kilometres.

Deep Creek Bridge, north of Dorrigo, will see the load limit of the single-lane timber bridge doubled.

Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, said the 60-year-old bridge on Coramba Road had now been replaced by a modern, safer single-span, two-lane steel and concrete bridge, increasing the load limit from 25 tonne to 50 tonne.

“I know how frustrating it can be for producers trying to move freight from A to B, so I’m glad we’ve been able to build the new bridge to save them a lengthy detour,” he said.

“Our Government provided $162.53 million to upgrade or replace 186 bridges across Australia back in 2017 and it’s great to see this bridge completed.”

State Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said the project, partly funded under the NSW Government’s $543 million Fixing Country Roads program, included re-aligning the bridge to make travelling along Coramba Road safer, and improving connectivity with Waterfall Way.

“The old bridge was built in the 1960s, and its poor condition would have seen a 10-tonne load limit be imposed in the future, so I’m glad load limits will not be required and that we’ve been able to deliver a safer bridge that will serve the community for generations to come,” said Pavey.

“This is another great outcome for the Bellingen Shire Council, who has now received more than $1.3 million in Fixing Country Roads funding, including the upgrade of Bielsdown Bridge, which together with this upgrade of Deep Creek Bridge, will open up Coramba Road to regional freight operators.”

Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Dominic King, said the load capacity of the new two-lane concrete bridge had been increased to meet the future needs of local agricultural and commercial industry sectors.

“This new bridge will support five dairies producing six million litres of milk annually. Another six load-limited timber bridges have been programmed for maintenance, repair and rehabilitation works this financial year,” he said.

The $1.54 million renewal of Deep Creek Bridge saw the Federal Government contribute $645,000 under Round Three of the Bridges Renewal Program, the NSW government contribute a further $645,000, and Bellingen Shire Council contribute $250,000.

(Image: Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan.)