New Gunnedah Bridge opens to traffic early
22 November 2020
The new Gunnedah bridge will open to traffic tomorrow, as the biggest road infrastructure project the town has ever seen opens ahead of schedule to improve road safety and freight connectivity.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the bridge linking the Oxley Highway with Warrabungle Street would open to traffic tomorrow, weather permitting, at which time the New Street level crossing will also close.
“Earlier today, we saw local community members be the first to walk and bus over the new bridge, and I’m excited that from tomorrow, cars and B-doubles will be able to do the same and take pressure off the Abbott Street bridge,” Mr Toole said.
“Gunnedah has been a significant freight pinchpoint in the North West, and the $61 million investment by the NSW Government in this bridge will fix that, allowing an uninterrupted flow of traffic for heavy vehicles through town in a big boost for productivity.
“On top of that, the project has provided more than 500 jobs since construction started in 2019, which shows how serious we are about keeping money and jobs in the bush during these challenging times.”
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new bridge was a key link in the region’s freight strategy, which supported the expected growth in the agricultural, resources and manufacturing sectors.
“The new bridge has provided the much-needed connection between the Oxley and Kamilaroi highways for higher productivity vehicles, which is important because better access to domestic and international markets is vital to the region’s ongoing success,” Mr Anderson said.
“I couldn’t be more excited that we’re opening this bridge months ahead of schedule, and I thank everyone involved in the project because I know what a game changer it will be to locals.
“The team successfully worked with Australian Rail Track Corporation to construct the railway culvert within the strict time constraints required, and I’m particularly pleased to note we doubled our target for Aboriginal employment on this project.
“At 195-metres-long and more than 10 metres high, it’s an impressive structure that includes a 2.5-metre-wide concrete cycle and pedestrian path on the town side of the bridge.”
Final finishing work, including the closure of the rail level crossing, remains on track to be complete in mid-2021, weather permitting. For more information on the project’s progress visit: Northern Bridges/Gunnedah Bridge.