$55M Kapooka Bridge opens
14 June 2016
The highly anticipated Kapooka Bridge on the Olympic Highway south of Wagga Wagga has today officially opened - removing of one of the most notorious pinch points in regional NSW.
The $55 million project, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, will deliver significant road safety benefits and improve freight efficiency by fixing the only remaining weight-constrained bridge on the Olympic Highway.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said Kapooka Bridge was one of the flagship projects under the NSW Government’s Bridges for the Bush program.
“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,” Mr Gay said.
“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.
“Now, higher productivity trucks can travel from Albury up to Queensland via the Olympic Highway, Goldfields Way and Newell Highway without any weight restrictions – reducing the number of smaller truck trips required on regional roads.
Federal Member for the Riverina Michael McCormack said the bridge was yet another example of the Australian and NSW governments partnering together to deliver vital infrastructure in country NSW.
“The construction of this bridge has been one of the biggest road projects in recent history in the Wagga Wagga area – creating jobs and stimulating the local economy,” Mr McCormack said.
“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.
“This bridge is built across the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line and has been constructed with future freight rail use in mind, it is high enough to allow the passage of double stacked trains.”
Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire recognised the bridge’s connection to the nearby Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, unveiling a plaque dedicated to Australia’s servicemen and women.
“Dedicating the new Kapooka Bridge to Australia’s servicemen and women demonstrates the city’s recognition of these important links to its past, present and future,” Mr Maguire said.
“The previous bridge built in 1880 was a burden on the region, this new bridge will reduce travel times and make it easier for people using the Olympic Highway to get where they need to safely.
“This new bridge is an asset to our region and something the people of Wagga Wagga have been waiting decades to see delivered - it demonstrates this Government’s commitment to building better, stronger and safer bridges in the bush.”
BMD Constructions will remain on site for up to four weeks, weather permitting, to finish the new Camp Access Road intersection and other minor work. There may be minor impacts to traffic on the bridge during this time. The old bridge is scheduled to be removed next year.
Minister Gay Natalie Heazlewood 0419 173 927
Michael McCormack Marney Johnstone 0439 550506
Daryl Maguire 02 6921 1622
View the original media release.