NSW Government road and bridge revitilisation

1 April 2013

NSW Government committed to regional road and bridge revitilisation

Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today repeated the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting to local councils to improve or replace bridges to help ensure safety for all road users on the NSW road network.
Mr Gay said there is no denying there are council owned bridges and structures which are ageing in regional NSW.

“We have a massive task ahead of us, working with local councils, to work through this huge backlog of outdated infrastructure across the State,” Mr Gay said.

“The NSW Government is paying the first 4 per cent or any council loan required to tackle the infrastructure backlog under our Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.

“We also assist councils where possible with funding and the provision of technical advice and support.

“The NSW Government already maintains 188 bridges on local and regional roads. This is because, due to either the sheer size of the structure or its heavy maintenance schedule, these bridges are beyond the local council’s financial capability.

“This includes five structures on local roads in the Clarence and one structure in the Kempsey Shire area.

“Roads and Maritime Services also provides training information to local councils for the safety assessment of bridges and structures such as culverts (large drains) to help with their bridge maintenance programs.

“We’re helping councils make decisions about the safety of bridges for travel as well as ensuring safety is maintained for motorists.

“A new $145 million program called Bridges for the Bush has been introduced by the NSW Government to help improve road freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges on state and local roads in the next five years at 17 key locations in regional NSW.

“We’re seeking matching funding from the federal government to make this a $290 million program.

“Nine of the 17 bridges being upgraded are on regional or local roads including Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence.

“The replacement or upgrade of five HML deficient bridges alone will remove 8,000 heavy vehicle trips from the freight task each year. This will save the state more than $200 million in economic, social and environmental costs across the next 30 years.

“In addition to the Bridges for the Bush program, the NSW Government has allocated more than $1.35 billion toward the maintenance of roads in NSW.

“Included in this is $170 million of grant payments made to councils in 2012/13 as a contribution to the management of regional roads and bridges and $215 million in natural disaster funding upon application.

“This financial year more than $5.7 million has been allocated to Kempsey, Clarence and Kyogle Shire councils to address road and bridge maintenance on regional roads.

“We’re doing what we can to help local government in NSW but councils need to make clear decisions as to where funding should be allocated in their local area.

“Councils also receive funding from their local rates and the Federal Government and if bridges are deteriorating or need replacing, councils need to prioritise funding for the work,” Mr Gay said.

Media: Marie Scoutas 0467 739976

View the original media release:
NSW Government committed to regional road and bridge revitilisation 

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