New Gee Gee Bridge opens to traffic ahead of schedule
1 May 2020
The freight industry will be the big winners from safer and more reliable journeys over the Wakool River with the new two-lane concrete Gee Gee Bridge south of Moulamein now open to traffic.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the new $23 million bridge opened two months ahead of schedule.
“The NSW Government’s decision to replace the old structure with a two-lane, 245-metre long concrete bridge under the Bridges for the Bush program will make a significant difference to the local agricultural community,” Mr Toole said.
“It will open the route up to Higher Mass Limit (HML) vehicles and oversized agricultural machines, creating new opportunities and efficiencies for operators.
“This is a well-known strategic freight route supporting markets between Deniliquin in NSW and Swan Hill in Victoria, while also providing an alternative route between Wagga Wagga in NSW and Swan Hill.”
Mr Toole said the original bridge was a narrow, one-lane Dare timber truss bridge that met network requirements when it was built 90 years ago but had been unable to keep up with today’s needs.
“With the road freight task around Australia predicted to nearly double by 2030, investing in infrastructure like the new Gee Gee Bridge is critical,” Mr Toole said.
“Work to relieve the bottleneck started in September 2018 and involved installing a temporary bridge to help workers and machinery build the new bridge safely.
“The new bridge was built downstream of the existing Gee Gee Bridge by Nelmac Pty Ltd and is now owned by Murray River Council, which built 1.2 kilometres of approach road to the new bridge.
“It has 111 piles which were driven into the bed of the Wakool River to form the piers for the new bridge.
“Transport operators with specialised trailers and their escorts travelled in excess of 41,000 kilometres in round trips to get the 54 concrete bridge girders to site.”
The old Gee Gee Bridge is now closed and it is anticipated it will be demolished in the latter half of this year, with an interpretation board marking the original timber truss structure’s significance to the local community to be installed in 2021.
Further information on the Gee Gee Bridge project is available from Gee Gee Bridge.