Cotton on the move in Carrathool

Friday 10 February 2017

Cotton farmers are on track for a bumper season, with extra capacity opening up on Carrathool Bridge for the cotton harvest this year.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the increased capacity follows an innovative heavy vehicle monitoring trial last year and a strengthening upgrade.

“It’s important we make life easier for our farmers, and support local businesses. After a $7.8 million strengthening upgrade in 2015, the bridge was able to handle loads of up to 75 tonnes during the last cotton season, providing improved productivity and less road trips for local growers,” Ms Pavey said.

The heritage-listed bridge was only open to vehicles up to General Mass Limit B-double size, but a heavy vehicle monitoring trial found it was safe to roll out bigger trucks on the bridge.

The trial last year involved strain gauges along the length of the bridge, and CCTV cameras at each end to monitor its condition for double road trains.

“The increased capacity allows up to 18 cotton modules to be shipped per trip, six more than a B Double - improving efficiency for local businesses and farmers and safety for the community,” Ms Pavey said.

“This is a temporary measure while the new $15 million Carrathool Bridge is built which will be able to accommodate heavy freight movements.”

Cotton Australia General Manager Operations Michael Murray thanked the NSW government for the move.

“For our growers, contractors and ginners this decisions means that they will be able to safely deliver more per trip, reduce total truck movements, and make full use of the complete road network,” Mr Murray said.

View the original media release.

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