Roadworks, Transport News

Bellingen Shire upgrades bridge to boost freight access

Bellingen Shire is upgrading its wooden bridges in a bid to flood proof the roads while also improving safety and connectivity for residents and transport operators

Bellingen Shire says it is upgrading its wooden bridges in the region as it plans to prepare better for future flood events and improve freight access in the shire. 

The flood proofing of NSW bridges continues in 2023 with seven new bridges now open around Coffs Harbour including the Cobb O Corn Bridge on Reids Road; Diehappy Bridge on Darkwood Road; Richardsons Bridge on Darkwood Road; Taylors Bridge at Bellingen; Coopernook Creek Bridge on Coramba Road; Knights Bridge on Kalang Road; and Cahills Bridge on Nobles Lane, Bellingen.

The concrete bridges have replaced timber bridges and are designed to withstand floodwaters and remain sturdy for at least 100 years.

Speaking at the unveiling of the most recent bridge to be finished Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said Bellingen Shire Council has received more than $27.3 million to replace ageing timber bridges.

“It is fantastic to be able to open the latest completed bridge in the Bellingen Shire – Taylors Bridge on North Bank Road – which received $710,000 from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government – and to see the tangible impacts these new bridges are having in keeping communities connected in Bellingen and beyond,” Farraway says.

“With the extreme weather our state has experienced over the last couple of years it is important when we build the infrastructure that matters to the community that it’s resilient and reliable.

“Some bridges that have been replaced under this program withstood recent floods and continued to provide safe access for communities; had they still been made of timber they would likely have been badly damaged or destroyed.”

Member for Oxley Mel Pavey said Bellingen Shire Council received more than $18.8 million under Round 1 of Fixing Country Bridges to replace 27 bridges.

“It is exciting to see the progress made by Bellingen Shire Council in delivering better bridges through Round 1 of this program. Nine bridges were opened to traffic in the past nine months, seven of them just in the month of December,” Pavey says.

“There will also be four more projects delivered, with the council allocated more than $8.5 million in Round 2B funding.

“Across my electorate, including Kempsey and Nambucca Valley Shires, 27 Fixing Country Bridges projects opened to traffic in 2022.

“These bridges are making a real difference and ensure that in times of emergencies our community remains connected.”

Bellingen Shire Council Mayor Stephen Allan says all the new bridges are designed to last more than 100 years.

“Not only are these bridges stronger and able to carry heavier freight loads, in some cases they are wider and higher,” Allan says.

“Overall, they will be more resilient and because they are built of newer materials, they will cost us less to maintain and allow Council to focus on other key infrastructure renewals,” he says.”

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