News, Road upgrades

$45 million for regional road safety upgrades

Over $45 million will go towards funding 19 “high-priority” bridge and road safety upgrades across regional and rural Australia.

Funded by the Australian Government, there will be works taking place in various areas including from Clarence Valley in New South Wales, Gladstone in Queensland, through to Port Hedland in Western Australia

The government will partner with local councils to deliver projects in fast-growing communities and areas that house major production hubs.

Over $25 million will be shared by 14 projects under the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP), with over $20 million supporting five projects under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP).

The BRP supports upgrading old and worn timber bridges to modern structures that can take more weight, are better equipped for major weather events, and are safer for both vehicles and pedestrians.

“Bridges are critical access points in and out of our communities, and freight routes are central to the efficient delivery of essential products and services, which is why this $45 million will go a long way to improving the safety and reliability of these regional road networks,” said Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Kristy McBain MP.

The latest BRP projects include:

  • Over $2.7 million to replace Comobella Bridge over Mitchell’s Creek at Comobella outside of Dubbo with a concrete structure
  • More than $1.8 million towards the reconstruction and widening of Appila Spring Bridge at Appila in South Australia
  • Over $1.6 million to replace the culvert on Almurta Glen Forbes Road at Almurta in Victoria.

The HVSPP supports improvements to roads used in freight routes, including the installation of intersections, widening roads, sealing roads and installing safety barrier, with the aim of increasing productivity and safety of heavy vehicle operations.

The latest HVSPP projects include:

  • $5 million towards the upgrade of two existing causeways and one new causeway at three locations on Malbon-Selwyn Road at Cloncurry in Queensland
  • $5 million to reconstruct and widen around 6 kilometres of Mount William Road at Yalla-Y-Poora in Victoria
  • $5 million to upgrade Route 1 of the Wedgefield road network at Wedgefield in Western Australia, including widening and sealing approximately 580 metres of road, installing precast box culverts to mitigate flooding, and pavement upgrades.

“Without our truckies, Australia stops. That’s why we are investing in keeping them safe on our roads,” said Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Carol Brown.

“We want to make our busiest freight routes safer for truckies and everyone using our roads.

“I am pleased to see another five projects come to life under the HVSPP, which will increase safety and reliability for the trucking industry across Australia while bolstering access through local rural communities.”

The BRP and HVSPP will consolidate into the Safer Local Road and Infrastructure Program (SLRIP) from July 1, 2024 – with an additional $50 million to be added to the new program.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Bridget McKenzie, however, said Labor continues to fail on key road safety improvements.

She said almost $80 million was cut from the Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity programs this year with just 19 new projects across the two programs, bringing the total for the year to $105 million, despite a budget allocation of $185 million.

“The former Coalition government invested $772 million into these important road safety programs in our last budget because we understand keeping freight running efficiently and safely is vital to keeping our economy strong and supporting jobs,” Senator McKenzie said.

“Not only has the Labor government decided to abolish both programs but they’re failing to release all the money, leaving sections of our freight network without the funding desperately needed to improve safety for all road users and boost the productivity for heavy vehicles.”

1 Comment

  1. road class remains the most significant factor explaining average project costs—average costs of urban and rural freeways/highways were around $5.4 million per lane kilometre, while average costs of rural arterials were around $3.8 million per lane kilometre.
    This was the cost in 2018
    Imagine the cost now
    Your going to hardly get anything for 45 million dollars
    What a joke

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