Work starts on replacing Bangalow bridges

Works have started on replacing five old bridges near Bangalow in the Byron Shire.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said Bangalow residents would be able to enjoy better, safer and more reliable road access as a result.

“These new bridges will ensure more efficient freight and traffic movement, which will in turn improve productivity for nearby agricultural industries including the Booyong meat processing plant, macadamia, beef and dairy farms,” Mr McCormack said.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said upgrading the existing one-lane timber bridges woud deliver improved freight movement and the ability of the local businesses to access markets.

“New steel bridges with a load limit of 44 tonnes would replace the old, allowing for the transport of significantly heavier loads, giving time and money back to our local businesses,” Mrs Pavey said.

Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson said the Council had delivered letters to stakeholders in the areas informing them of traffic disruptions during construction.

“We are aware the replacement of the bridges will disrupt some local residents and businesses and we ask for people's patience and understanding,” Cr Richardson said.

Senator for NSW John Williams said there will be significant economic benefits and significantly less frustration once the new structures are open.

Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin said the Bangalow bridges project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $2.59 million under the Bridges Renewal Program and the NSW Government investing $2.59 million from its Restart NSW Fixing Country Roads Program.

“By replacing the five bridges along the one road network, freight carriers will save both time and money,” Mr Franklin said.

Under the Bridges Renewal Program, the Australian Government will provide $420 million from the 2015 to 2016 financial year to the 2020 to 2021 financial year, with an on-going commitment of $60 million each following year to upgrade and replace the bridges.

The Bangalow bridges to be replaced are: Booyong Bridge, Parkers Bridge, James Bridge, O'Meara's Bridge and Scarrabelottis Bridge.

The timeline for the closure and replacement of each bridge is available from the Council's website, These dates are subject to change according to weather and associated construction issues.