UPGRADING Burkes Creek Bridge at The Rock in southern NSW will potentially free up access to grain silos and allow heavier loads to use the structure following a funding announcement.
Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey met with members of the Lockhart Shire Council on Friday to announce the funding which had been made available through the government’s Fixing Country Roads Program.
Lockhart Shire Council deputy mayor Greg Verdon welcomed the news and said Burkes Creek Bridge was on a popular route for agricultural traffic and other heavy vehicles.
It is just one of the bridges and culverts in the shire which has been flagged for upgrade.
“Because we have a small rate base we rely on grants from government to assist upgrades … the fact is we are being pushed to allow heavier mass limits,” he said.
“It is something we have been wanting to do for some time,” he said.
Lockhart Shire Council director of engineering David Webb said the funding would help to increase the mass limit of the bridge. This meant that in the future b-doubles would be able to use it.
Roads Maritime and Freight minister, Melinda Pavey was in The Rock on Friday morning during the wet conditions to make the announcement.
She said the funding allowed for 1400 kilometres of roads to be upgraded.
“Regional NSW produces around 210 million tonnes of freight a year, with freight volume expected to double over the next 40 years,” she said.
Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire said Lockhart Shire Council and Wagga City Council would collectively receive almost $2 million for projects.
“HML vehicles can’t access the Lockhart Shire due to substandard road structures such as bridges and major culverts, with some failing to support Grain Harvest Management Scheme and Livestock Loading Scheme vehicles,” he said.
“The investment will see nine bridges upgraded in Lockhart, reducing operating costs for heavy vehicle operators and the number of heavy vehicles on the road and improving productivity by allowing the use of larger vehicles.”
Wagga City Council will receive $868,168 from the NSW Government to go alongside council’s contribution of almost $300,000 to reconstruct 2.1 kilometres of Byrnes Road from Bavin Road to East Bomen Road.