Works start on $21 million Fixing Country Bridges program

Port Macquarie-Hastings

Work will start today on the replacement of existing timber bridges across Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) area with concrete bridges that can better withstand extreme weather events and can be used by larger vehicles.

Over the next 12 months, 13 existing timber bridges across the LGA will be replaced with new concrete structures as part of $21 million of work, largely funded under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program.

The new concrete structures will provide greater flood resilience, reduce future ongoing maintenance costs for PMHC and increase connectivity by allowing increased vehicle load limits.

The program will kick start with the replacement of Logans Crossing Bridge on Monday 8 May, as Council’s highest priority to restore this vital road connection lost during the March 2021 flood event.

The new concrete structures, including nine bridges and four culverts, will be built to current Australian standards. The full list of bridges is available to view here.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, said this program of work is making a real difference and ensures regional and rural communities remain connected in times of emergencies.

“These bridges are built of concrete and other newer materials, making them stronger and able to carry heavier freight loads, and in some cases they are wider and higher.

“Overall, they will be more resilient and will cost Council less to maintain in the long term.”

Council has engaged two Major Contractors (Saunders Civilbuild, and Eire Constructions) to complete the works across two separate Contract packages. The full PMHC Fixing Country Bridges Program of works is anticipated to be open to traffic by early-2024.

PMHC Group Manager Project Delivery Chris Favaloro said PMHC was thrilled to be able to embark on this major bridge renewal project, with significant support from the NSW Government

“Replacing ageing timber bridges forms a significant part of our commitment to continue the delivery of key road and bridge infrastructure across the LGA,” Mr Favaloro said.

“Courtesy of NSW and Australian Government funding, as well as council investment, the replacement of these 13 structures will help reduce long-term maintenance costs to Council, and provide improved safety for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.

“It will also improve traffic flow and access for businesses and residents, and provide greater resilience to future natural disasters. We look forward to commencing work on Monday at Logans Crossing, with a view to having the full package of works complete by May 2024.”

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, welcomed the start of work on the local bridges.

“We have a significant number of bridges that have to be replaced,” Mrs Williams said.

“I know that local residents at Logan’s Crossing are very pleased that work is finally underway.

“I look forward to seeing construction also commence on Joes Bridge and Cuttys Bridge at Bobs Creek.”

Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s Fixing Country Bridges Program is co-funded, with $21,085,000 million funded by the NSW State Government, $385,000 from the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and $500,000 funded by PMHC.

/Public Release. View in full here.