Bridging the gap in freight infrastructure at Kapooka
21 May 2015
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay, Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire and Chair of NSW Freight Advisory Council Ron Finemore AO yesterday inspected construction of the new Kapooka Bridge on the Olympic Highway near Wagga Wagga.
Minister Gay said: “replacing the old crumbling Kapooka road over rail bridge and straightening its dog-legged approaches is yet another example of how the NSW and Australian governments are working together to remove notorious transport and freight pinch points in regional NSW.
“The $55 million jointly funded structure is a flagship project as part of the NSW Government’s state wide Bridges for the Bush program and will result in the construction of a new two-lane bridge over the main southern railway line,” Mr Gay said.
Kapooka Bridge was built in the 1880s and carries a significant number of freight trucks – more than 150,000 truck movements each year.
The new structure will remove the only remaining weight-constrained bridge on the Olympic Highway, opening up an extra 315 kilometres for more productive freight trucks.
Mr Maguire said: “foundations for the bridge piles are already finished and general earth works are approximately one-third complete.
“Drainage work at the site is also 50 per cent finished and work will start soon on building soil walls to help reinforce the ends of the new bridge,” Mr Maguire said.
“The pace at which construction is moving is incredible. It’s great to know we are on track for this new bridge to be completed by September next year, weather permitting.”
Mr Finemore said: “B-doubles for example carrying general freight or livestock from southern NSW to Victoria will now experience a safer journey and greater productivity along this vital transport route.
“The last time I stood next to the old bridge with the Minister and local member, longer trucks had to cross over to the wrong side of the highway to negotiate the tight dog-leg bends which was extremely dangerous.
“As a veteran of the road transport sector, I’m delighted the NSW and Australian governments are listening to the transport and freight needs of regional communities,” Mr Finemore said.
MEDIA: Clementine Julian 0417 635 891 (Minister Gay)