The new $4.37 million Terrabella Bridge south of Dubbo is officially opened, aiming to provide a safer, stronger bridge to help boost freight and rural productivity.
The 101-year-old single lane wooden bridge has been replaced with a dual lane, high-level concrete bridge, removing load limits and helping make the Little River crossing safer and more efficient for freight and the community.
The old timber bridge will be demolished with materials to be recycled for further commercial use and other timber bridge maintenance.
The Terrabella Bridge involved all three levels of government with $2,716,000 from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads and $454,000 from its Fixing Country Bridges programs, $700,000 from the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal program and $500,000 from Dubbo Regional Council.
Federal Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Minister Kristy McBain said the project is a great example of what the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal investment is all about – upgrading and replacing bridges to connect communities and reduce freight costs for businesses.
“Good infrastructure investment creates jobs, builds opportunity and unlocks economic growth and productivity,” McBain said.
“Resilient and reliable transport is the backbone of the nation, and this is a fantastic example of our investment benefitting the Dubbo and broader central west region.”
NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway added that the Fixing Country Bridges program is helping councils to replace hundreds of ageing timber bridges like the Terrabella Bridge, with wider, stronger, more resilient structures, that can carry higher load limits.
“These new bridges are collectively shaving thousands of kilometres off school bus trips and truck journeys to saleyards, ports and markets as vehicles do not have to travel the long way round to cross a river or stream,” said Farraway.
“Every 100 kilometres out of a truck driver’s way costs over $300. Helping councils to build the infrastructure that reduces travel for industry will ultimately reduce the costs for families at the register.
Federal Senator for NSW Deborah O’Neill said the modern infrastructure of Terrabella Bridge will help unlock the economic potential of the region.
“The project was a jobs boost with more than 70 workers from Dubbo, Wellington and surrounding contributing to its delivery,” O’Neill said.
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said bridges like Terrabella are vital in keeping our rural communities connected.
“Whether you’re transporting grain, livestock or heavy machinery, or heading into to town for work, education or medical needs, this new bridge means safer journeys for everyone,” Saunders said.
Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson said the new concrete Terrabella Bridge will help keep the community connected during emergencies and natural disasters.
“Locals know the impact flooding had on the old bridge, but this new structure, 2.6 metres higher than the old one, offers greater resilience,” Dickerson said.