BRIDGES FOR THE BUSH Improving road freight productivity on the Bruxner Highway
Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George today announced the Tabulam Bridge on the Bruxner Highway between Casino and Tenterfield has been included in the NSW Government’s Bridges for the Bush infrastructure program.
Mr George said the work is part of the O’Farrell Government’s commitment to improving road safety and freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges over the next five years at 17 key locations in regional NSW.
“Our government is determined to make NSW number one again and that is why – even though times are tough – we are investing in infrastructure which will boost our economy by increasing productivity and creating jobs,” Mr George said.
“I’m delighted the State Infrastructure Strategy has recommended replacing Tabulam Bridge and I’m even more delighted Premier O’Farrell has given the green light to get work underway.
“In the Lismore electorate, this will mean building a new $24 million bridge on the Bruxner Highway between Casino and Tenterfield to provide better access for freight trucks servicing the region’s agricultural industries.”
Replacing the Tabulam Bridge over the Clarence River will bring this location on the Bruxner highway up to HML standard, removing the need for heavy vehicles to undertake a costly 230 kilometre detour.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said Bridges for the Bush is an initiative to help rebuild the NSW economy by investing in critical infrastructure to remove a number of significant freight pinch points and bottlenecks on the state road network.
“Today we are committing an additional $135 million to the Bridges for the Bush program,” Mr Gay said.
Bridges for the Bush involves replacing or upgrading five key priority higher mass limit (HML) deficient bridges on state-managed roads and 12 timber truss bridges on state, regional and local roads.
Mr Gay said Bridges for the Bush will provide thousands of continuous kilometres for higher productivity vehicles such as B-doubles operating at HML; not to mention fixing a number of heritage-listed timber truss bridges.
“It’s estimated that replacing or upgrading the five HML deficient bridges alone will remove 8,000 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,” Mr Gay said.
“The 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.