Delivering for the Shoalhaven River Bridge

Media Release

JB060/2014

01 July 2014

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads and Freight

Ann Sudmalis

Federal Member for Gilmore

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs today joined Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis to inspect the potential site of a new Shoalhaven River Bridge in Nowra

Mr Briggs said the Australian Government was delivering on its 2013 election commitment, and had secured $10 million for bridge planning works in the Budget.

“We are acutely aware of the need for this infrastructure upgrade, with the existing southbound bridge dating back to 1881,” Mr Briggs said.

“Almost 50,000 vehicles cross the Shoalhaven River here in Nowra each day creating congestion and stifling the productive capacity of the local economy.

“Design of the existing southbound bridge is also restrictive for heavy vehicles, with the iron truss structure at risk of damage from passing trucks

“The $10 million delivered for planning works will start the process and ensure any new bridge will serve future travel demand and growth, improve road safety and connectivity between north and south Nowra, and increase freight productivity,” Mr Briggs said.

Mrs Sudmalis said today's visit shows that the Australian Government recognises the importance of this project and understands that it is the highest priority for the region.

“Local residents are tired of traffic coming to a standstill every weekend and holiday and our southbound bridge being regularly closed for heavy traffic so this funding for planning cannot soon enough.

“Not to mention that this once glorious architectural piece of our landscape is unable to be maintained properly due to the large traffic volumes it sees each day.

“I will continue to strongly represent the Nowra community in Canberra by lobbying for further funding.” Mrs Sudmalis said.

NSW Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the NSW Government had also delivered $2 million in its 2014-15 Budget for the Shoalhaven River Bridge planning project.

“Our planning project here will ensure that we can meet traffic growth for decades to come, Minister Gay said.

The Member for Kiama Gareth Ward and the Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said the project would reduce travel times and increase safety for all motorists travelling between north and south Nowra.