Regional bridge and crossing work begins in Victoria


Victorian Government puts forward $85 million to its Stronger Country Bridges and Safer Country Crossings programs.

Regional bridge and crossing work begins in Victoria
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews.

 

The new Victorian Government has announced plans to upgrade a series of 48 bridges along major freight routes in regional areas.

It is also planning to make significant safety improvements to a number of regional level crossings.

It has allocated $35.8 million and $50 million to the Stronger Country Bridges and Safer Country Crossings programs respectively.

Premier Daniel Andrews says the work is long overdue.

"There are bridges on some of our major freight corridors that semi-trailers and B-doubles can’t even cross," he says.

"The Stronger Country Bridges program will improve productivity for our freight industry and reduce costly detours. It’s good for regional Victoria and it’s good for business."

One of the first tasks will be a complete reconstruction of a bridge over the La Trobe River between Traralgon and Tyers in Victoria’s east.

The 1936-built bridge suffered flood damage and is currently load-limited to 30-tonnes, restricting the logistics of both the coal mining and logging sectors in the region.

Vehicles are also subject to lower speed limits when crossing the bridge.

Under the program, $9 million has been allocated to rebuild the bridge, increasing its load limit to 42.5 tonne.

Meanwhile, roads minister Luke Donnellan says the investment in crossings is designed principally to save lives.

"Collisions between trucks and trains at regional level crossings remain one of the biggest safety risks for rail operations in Australia," he says.

The first stage of the crossings program will focus on three level crossings: at Springhurst near Wangaratta; at Gnotuk near Camperdown; and at Pirron Yallock near Colac. The upgrades will include works to install flashing lights and boom gates.

The Safer Country Crossings program is in addition to Labor’s election pledge to fully remove 50 level crossings in metropolitan Melbourne.

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