Building better bridges across north-east Victoria

Media Release

DC183/2016

14 November 2016

Joint release with:

Luke Donnellan

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety

James Paterson

Senator for Victoria

Jaclyn Symes

Member for Northern Victoria

  • 17 bridges to be upgraded on the Hume Freeway and Goulburn Valley Highway
  • Project kicked off with two rail overpass bridges on the Hume Freeway at Tallarook
  • Upgrades will enable safer and more efficient transport of goods to the Port of Melbourne

Two rail overpass bridges on the Hume Freeway at Tallarook are the first of 17 to be upgraded as part of an $11.8 million package of bridge strengthening works in north-east Victoria.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said there was a need to improve infrastructure, such as bridges, along key freight routes in north-east Victoria.

“These works at Tallarook are part of the Federal Government's infrastructure programme which will support the productivity, profitability and growth of the region's industries and businesses. The Victorian economy relies on the freight industry and building better bridges means the region's infrastructure can meet current demands, expected growth and provide a safer road for all users,” Mr Chester said.

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the projects were being funded by the Australian and Victorian governments through their respective National Highway Upgrade and Stronger Country Bridges Programs.

“During the first two stages of this project, we inspected the condition and structure of the 17 bridges to help us assess their load capacity for heavy trucks and determine a design to best strengthen them,” Mr Donnellan said.

Senator for Victoria James Paterson said the project would save regional Victorian industries time and money.

“The upgraded bridges will allow for larger trucks and bigger cargo to be transported directly to the Port of Melbourne without having to break down loads into smaller containers or find alternative, less direct routes. The overall project will see upgrades to 10 bridges on the Hume Freeway between Tallarook and Chiltern, and seven bridges on the Goulburn Valley Highway between Shepparton and Tocumwal,” Senator Paterson said.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the upgrades were an important boost to regional capacity.

“Works on the two bridges at Tallarook start today, with the installation of carbon fibre laminate strips to strengthen the bridges and allow heavy freight vehicles to carry more goods,” Ms Symes said.

Works on the remaining 15 bridges are expected to be finished by mid-2017. The Australian Government is contributing $9.44 million and the Victorian Government $2.36 million to these projects.