$31.5m Murray bridge upgrade touted as a major freight boost

Following a $31.5 million facelift, the Barham Koondrook Bridge, which spans the Murray River, has opened up to heavier trucks ahead of an anticipated bumper harvest for the region.

Now, B-doubles operating at Higher Mass Limits (HML) and Performance Based Standards (PBS) Level Two vehicles operating at Tier One HML will be granted access to the bridge.

The capacity increase was signed off following verification of bridge strength.

Transport for NSW director south Joanne Parrott says the move is a major boost for the freight industry and local agricultural producers ahead of an expected bumper harvest.

“The increased mass capacity will enable the bridge to meet current vehicle loads and the growing needs of the freight industry and local agricultural sector,” Parrott said.

“The Murray Darling Basin is the largest contributor to Australia’s agricultural sector and is home to more than 40 per cent of Australian farms. The region is comprised of rich irrigation farming land, primarily producing rice, sheep, citrus, cereal crops, dairy, walnuts, olives and beef cattle.

“This will be a major boost for the freight industry and local agricultural producers ahead of an expected bumper harvest.”

Parrott says the successful recent load testing to demonstrate the degree of structural integrity followed repairs earlier this year on the heritage-listed bridge, which links NSW and Victoria, to the lift span, replacing the NSW approach and strengthening the bridge piers.

“Before this upgrade providing a vital cross border connection for higher productivity vehicles, there was a 350-kilometre stretch between crossings for Higher Mass Limits vehicles at Tocumwal and Euston,” Parrott added.

“These border crossings are vital with more than 150,000 vehicle movements daily and around 20 million tonnes of freight crossing the river each year.”

The NSW and Victorian governments have been working in partnership on the upkeep and planning for the 32 crossings over the Murray River between the two states.

For more information about the bridge, click here.

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