BRIDGES FOR THE BUSH: PREFERRED ROUTE ANNOUNCED FOR TABULAM BRIDGE
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Member for Lismore Thomas George today announced the preferred route for the new Bruxner Highway bridge at Tabulam, as part of the NSW Government’s Bridges for the Bush program.
“The existing bridge is to be removed and replaced with a bridge which meets local and through traffic demands and reduces annual maintenance costs,” Mr Gay said.
“The preferred route (option D) starts on the Bruxner Highway west of the Clarence River, eliminating a tight bend near Clarence River Road and the Tabulam Pre-School, then sweeps to the south of the existing bridge. It re-joins the highway at the Clarence Street intersection.
“The option is about one kilometre in length with a new 300 metre bridge over the Clarence River and a new bridge at the Clarence River Overflow Bridge No.1.”
Mr George said the preferred route, over Tabulam Bridge, 55 kilometres west of Casino on the Bruxner Highway was chosen, in close consultation with the community and provides the best overall balance between functional, environmental, social and economic factors.
“The NSW Liberals and Nationals has listened to the concerns of the local community to make sure we build infrastructure for the future of this region,” Mr George said.
“There is also considerable support for remembering the existing Tabulam Bridge, either through a community display to show the historical significance or by reusing the old materials.
“We will work with the community when deciding how to remember the existing bridge.”
“Issues of cost and community safety were highlighted as some of the key concerns for our community.
“As part of the process to replace the bridge, four shortlisted routes were displayed for community comment in December last year.”
Mr Gay said the upgrade was yet another example of the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government getting on with the job to provide more efficient ways of moving freight around the state.
“Half the nation’s and three quarters of all interstate road freight journeys are on our roads,” he said.
“Unlike the former Labor government, this state government understands it is vital to invest in infrastructure, which will help boost economic growth,” Mr Gay said.
The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has delivered more than $15 billion for roads and bridges in its first three state budgets.
Across rural and regional NSW in 2011-12, $3.7 billion was spent on maintaining and building roads, bridges and culverts. Approximately $3.8 billion was spent in 2012-13, while $3.9 billion was allocated in 2013-14.
This puts the NSW Liberal & National Government a ‘country mile’ ahead of Country Labor, who between 2001-02 and 2010-11 spent on average $2.4 billion per year.
The Tabulam Bridge is one of 17 key locations in country NSW the Liberal & Nationals Government has committed to improving the state’s freight movement by upgrading and replacing bridges over the next five years.
The Preferred Route Options Report is now available at www.rms.nsw.gov.au.