New bridge saves five hours on trip
30 June 2014
New bridge saves five hours on trip from Newcastle to Toowoomba for higher mass limit vehicles
George Souris, M.P., Member for Upper Hunter, said the recent opening of the new Fitzgerald Bridge at Aberdeen means the entire length of the New England Highway – from Hexham near Newcastle to Toowoomba in southeast Queensland – is now suitable for Higher Mass Limit vehicles.
Mr. Souris said the new bridge was the last piece in the puzzle to provide uninterrupted Higher Mass Limit access between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
“The New England Highway, which forms a major section of the 1047 kilometre Sydney to Brisbane national highway route, is a critical part of the National Land Transport Network and a major freight route,” Mr. Souris said.
“To avoid the old crossing at Aberdeen, which had two narrow bridges separated for north and southbound traffic, Higher Mass Limit vehicles were detoured 351 kilometres.
“Southbound vehicles would travel from Tamworth to Wallabadah on the New England Highway then detour west to Coonabarabran, south to Dunedoo and Denman then east to Muswellbrook before continuing on the New England Hwy to the south.
“The new bridge means Higher Mass Limit vehicles can continue down the New England Highway for their entire journey, saving up to five hours in travel time.
“The new Fitzgerald Bridge saves businesses time and money and significantly improves productivity by enabling more efficient and direct freight movements,” Mr. Souris said.
The new Fitzgerald Bridge was a win for freight operators travelling between Sydney and Brisbane on the national highway route.
This bridge allows transport operators to use previously restricted vehicle combinations, such as B-Doubles at Higher Mass Limits along the length of the New England Highway in both directions for the first time.
“The reduction in hours on the road will be significantly reduced, keeping the roads safer and increasing productivity.
“Country NSW will also see the benefits of reduced freight costs and less heavy vehicles on the road due to higher productivity vehicles being able to use this crossing.”
“The two lane Fitzgerald Bridge over the Hunter River at Aberdeen is 9.4 metres wide and opened to traffic on Friday 23 May after almost 18 months of work.
“For more information on Higher Mass Limits visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/heavyvehicles,” Mr. Souris concluded.
Contact G Souris: Office (02) 6543 1065; Parliament House (02) 9230 2196; Mobile 0427 241 528
View the original media release (PDF)