Bridges Renewal program gets underway


First round of projects will upgrade 53 bridges throughout Australia to improve freight productivity.

 

The Federal Government has announced a raft of bridge upgrade projects around the country, in the first tranche of its Bridges Renewal program.

A total of 53 bridges will be targeted, in addition to 29 bridges already announced in NSW.

Infrastructure minister Warren Truss says the projects were selected to offer "win-win" results for federal, state, and local governments alike.

"The Bridges Renewal program is designed to bolster productivity of Australia’s local bridges, to better serve communities and drive greater efficiency in road freight and traffic movement," he says.

"By upgrading these bridges from, for example, a one-lane timber bridge to a two-lane concrete bridge, residents will enjoy better, safer and more reliable road access. Freight from farms and local factories will be able to pass safely along quicker routes with greatly improve productivity."

The $300 million federal program ($114 million during this first round) will have funding matched by a mixture of the state and territory governments and local councils involved with each bridge.

The 53 bridges are made up of 18 in Victoria, 17 in Queensland, five in Tasmania, four in Western Australia, six in the Northern Territory and three in the Australian Capital Territory.

Victorian roads minister Luke Donnellan says the funding forms part of its already announced Stronger Country Bridges program.

"These commitments are about making sure our roads and bridges support the economic and social activities of our regional communities," he says.

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