Works to increase the bridge load capacity on a key freight route for grain transport near Tumby Bay is now complete, allowing higher-productivity vehicles to use the Bratten Bridge.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, the Bratten Bridge on the Lipson Ungarra Road was built over 50 years ago and no longer capable of safely carrying the loads of modern high-productivity freight vehicles.
“By retaining the existing sub-structure and providing a heavily reinforced topping slab, this upgrade retrofitted the old bridge so it can continue to serve the community into the future,” McCormack said.
“Other roadworks to support the increase in freight loading, including road surface improvements, were also completed as part of the project.”
South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard pointed to the importance of continuing to build the regions and invest in projects that improve both road safety and productivity.
“This upgrade to Bratten Bridge and other projects like it across South Australia are facilitating more growth, productivity and job creation in our regions,” Wingard said.
Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton added that the upgrades mean higher productivity vehicles can access the Ungarra grain storage facility and cart grain from the lower Eyre Peninsula.
“While these upgrades will add economic value, the most significant benefit is reduced travel times for heavy vehicles in the area, getting workers back home to their families safer and sooner,” Coulton said.
District Council of Tumby Bay Mayor Sam Telfer thanked both levels of government for their contributions and commended them on their investment to ensure the ongoing viability of the Eyre Peninsula’s agricultural industry.
“The Eyre Peninsula produces 32 per cent of South Australia’s cereal crops and contributes $640 million to the South Australian economy every year,” Telfer said.
“To maintain a globally competitive agricultural industry, our road infrastructure must facilitate the most efficient means of commodity transport. In this case, the bridge upgrade will allow up to an additional 10.5 tonne payload on each vehicle using the route.
“This directly reduces transport costs, improves road safety through reduced vehicle movements and ensures that the most suitable and direct routes are available for the movement of commodities.”
The project was jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $800,000 and the South Australian Government committing $200,000.