New bridge is music to Tonebridge ears


Single lane bridge no more on WA Great Southern transport route

New bridge is music to Tonebridge ears
Locals attend the bridge opening - on a rainy day.

 

Truck drivers and grey nomads will be celebrating the replacement of a single lane timber bridge in Western Australia’s Great Southern region a two-lane concrete bridge under the state-federal Bridges Renewal Program.

The new $4.9 million Tone Bridge, located on the Boyup Brook-Cranbrook Road, replaces a 90-year old structure that was used daily by around 400 vehicles – including road trains, trucks and caravans – WA transport minister Rita Saffioti says.

"By removing the need to stop and give way to oncoming vehicles, the new double-lane bridge will improve safety and productivity for heavy freight vehicles carrying wood chips, logs, grain and sheep to the Port of Bunbury, and fertiliser and lime from the west coast," she says.

State Member for South West Adele Farina said the 53 metre bridge used an innovative design, which is the first of its kind in Australia.

"The design is unique, using a combination of steel beams and reinforced concrete, which offers benefits in safety, reduced material requirements and minimal maintenance requirements. The new dual lane bridge will provide greater safety for all users," Farina says.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson says the new bridge will also facilitate safer access for vehicles entering and leaving the Shire of Boyup Brook on one of its major distributor roads, including tourists driving from Albany to Bunbury.

The replacement bridge was funded under round two of the Bridges Renewal program announced in January 2016, with the WA government overseeing the works and the project jointly funded by the state and federal governments.

A third round of projects to be funded under the scheme was announced in September last year, with upgrades planned to two concrete bridges on the major Albany Highway in the Wheatbelt town of Williams to be upgraded – lifting their capacity from 20 tonnes to 166 tonnes.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack says the upgrade is one of many underway more broadly.

"This is just one of the important bridges to receive funding from the Australian Government’s $480 million Bridges Renewal Program for projects which contribute to improving productivity and community access," he says.

 

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