Gobarralong Bridge opens weeks ahead of schedule
27 November 2015
Joint release with:
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight
Parliamentary Secretary for Southern NSW
Member for Cootamundra
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for the Riverina Michael McCormack and Member for Cootamundra and Parliamentary Secretary for Southern NSW Katrina Hodgkinson today opened the new Gobarralong Bridge which crosses the Murrumbidgee River near Gundagai.
Minister Gay said work was finished a month ahead of schedule—with the bridge taking only 14 weeks to build.
“This is testament to what a great council in the bush can do when it has the support of two National and Liberal governments,” Mr Gay said.
“This was a jointly funded project with the NSW and Australian governments each providing $1.046 million towards the $2.59 million project—and the Gundagai Shire Council providing $500,000.
“The new bridge will provide access for semi-trailers and B-doubles which transport produce and other material to and from numerous agricultural properties and quarries to the Gobarralong Adjungbilly Road.
“It will remove a major constraint on an approved B-double route connecting areas such as Gobarralong, Adjungbilly and Darbalara to the Hume Highway.”
Mr McCormack said the new bridge replaces a crumbling, unsafe and old 20-tonne load limit bridge which restricted heavy vehicles from crossing the bridge, and forced them to take a 10km detour.
“Following the March 2012 floods, the old bridge required a 20-tonne load limit to be placed on it, which meant long detours for heavy vehicle freight operators,” Mr McCormack said.
“The new Gobarralong Bridge will eliminate this problem and will improve travel times thereby reducing costs for freight operators—and farmers.
“The bridge is used extensively by the community in the Gundagai region and the new bridge will provide great benefit to the Riverina's vitally important timber industry.
“The Australian Government has contributed $1.046 million in funding towards the construction of the new bridge through the $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme designed to contribute to projects which improve the productivity of bridges serving local communities.”
Ms Hodgkinson said since 2011, the NSW Government has been delivering historic levels of funding to help regional growers, producers and businesses take the most direct and cost-effective route to transport goods from paddock to port.
“Funding for the new bridge came out of the State's $42.85 million Fixing Country Roads funding initiative which was developed by the NSW Government to help regional councils upgrade their old roads and bridges which cause freight pinch point or “last mile” problems.
“This is the biggest project so far to be completed out of Round One, with most projects to be completed by the end of this financial year.
“Everyone is a winner under our Fixing Country Roads program—and because it's been such a success Round Two has just opened with a further $50 million being put towards this program so we can build more bridges and fix more roads in the bush. I encourage all councils, not only in my electorate, to get involved.”