New $55 million Kapooka Bridge opens


New four lane bridge on the Olympic Highway promises safety and efficiency gains

New $55 million Kapooka Bridge opens
The Kapooka Bridge project during construction.

 

New South Wales truck drivers may be breathing a relieving sigh as they travel on the Olympic Highway south of Wagga Wagga after the official opening of the Kapooka Bridge yesterday.

Funded by both state and federal governments, the $55 million project aims to deliver both safety and freight efficiency benefits to the regional NSW location by fixing the last weight-constrained bridge on the Olympic Highway.

NSW roads, maritime, and freight minister Duncan Gay says the "new four lane Kapooka Bridge is a win for safety and common sense".

"We’ve replaced the tired, worn bridge with a taller, wider and longer structure and straightened the dangerous dog legged approaches," he says.

"Close to 1.5 million vehicles use the Kapooka Bridge each year and about 215,000 are freight trucks, no longer will they need to navigate tricky bends in the middle of the highway."

Gay says the new bridge will reduce "the number of smaller truck trips required on regional roads" and allow "higher productivity trucks [to] travel from Albury up to Queensland via the Olympic Highway, Goldfields Way, and Newell Highway without any weight restrictions".

Describing the bridge as "one of the biggest road projects in recent history in the Wagga Wagga area," federal member for the Riverina Michael McCormack says the "new Kapooka Bridge is a win for local business – reducing costs for supermarket deliveries, primary producers, fuel carriers and regional operators transporting livestock, grain and cereals."

He says while the bridge offers efficiency gains for road transport, it also has the capacity to facilitate "the passage of double stacked trains" as the "bridge is built across the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line and has been constructed with future freight rail use in mind".

The old bridge, which was built in 1880 and called "a burden on the region" by member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire, is scheduled to be removed next year.

The new bridge has been dedicated to Australia’s servicemen and women thanks to its connection to nearby Army Recruit Training Centre in Kapooka.

A new Camp Access Road intersection and other minor works are expected to continue for up to four weeks, depending on the weather.

 

 

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook