Stronger bridges in NSW’s mid north coast

Seven new concrete bridges, capable of carrying heavier freight loads, have been opened in NSW’s Bellingen Shire.

The Bellingen Shire Council received over $27.3 million in funding from the NSW Government to replace ageing timber bridges with stronger and sturdier concrete structures.

They were funded under the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program.

“It is fantastic to be able to open the latest completed bridge in the Bellingen Shire – Taylors Bridge on North Bank Road – which received $710,000 from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government; and to see the tangible impacts these new bridges are having in keeping communities connected in Bellingen and beyond,” said Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway.

“We have rolled out funding for more than 500 bridges across NSW under our $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program.

“With the extreme weather our state has experienced over the last couple of years it is important when we build the infrastructure that matters to the community that it’s resilient and reliable.

“Some bridges that have been replaced under this program withstood recent floods and continued to provide safe access for communities; had they still been made of timber, they would likely have been badly damaged or destroyed.”

Member for Oxley Mel Pavey added that Bellingen Shire Council had received more than $18.8 million under Round 1 of Fixing Country Bridges to replace 27 bridges.

“It is exciting to see the progress made by Bellingen Shire Council in delivering better bridges through Round 1 of this program. Nine bridges were opened to traffic in the past nine months, seven of them just in the month of December,” Pavey said.

“There will also be four more projects delivered, with the council allocated more than $8.5 million in Round 2B funding. Across my electorate, including Kempsey and Nambucca Valley Shires, 27 Fixing Country Bridges projects opened to traffic in 2022.

“These bridges are making a real difference and ensure that in times of emergencies our community remains connected.”

Bellingen Shire Council Mayor Stephen Allan said all the new bridges had been designed to last in excess of 100 years.

“Not only are these bridges stronger and able to carry heavier freight loads, in some cases they are wider and higher. Overall, they will be more resilient and because they are built of newer materials, they will cost us less to maintain and allow Council to focus on other key infrastructure renewals,” Allan said.

“We have worked hard, supported by key local contractors Coastalworks (Coffs Harbour City Council) and Mid North Coast, and since the beginning of December have been able to open seven new bridges. They are Cobb O Corn Bridge on Reids Road; Diehappy Bridge on Darkwood Road, Darkwood; Richardsons Bridge on Darkwood Road, Bellingen; Taylors Bridge at Bellingen; Coopernook Creek Bridge on Coramba Road, Megan; Knights Bridge on Kalang Road, Kalang; and Cahills Bridge on Nobles Lane, Bellingen.”

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