29 Jul 2021

The Bolivia Hill upgrade on the New England Highway is powering ahead, with all 61 concrete segments of the new bridge now in place.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Government’s $98 million contribution to the $134 million project would ensure the project crosses the finish line by the end of the year.

"This upgrade will be a game changer for the estimated 1,500 vehicles, including 500 heavy vehicles, that use this route between Glen Innes and Tenterfield every day,” Mr Joyce said.

"I am determined to get the job done on this crucial upgrade, which is why the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government unlocked $43 million in new funding for the project in February.

"We're getting on with the job of making this stretch of road safer for all those who use it, building on our record investment in road safety right along the New England Highway, including the $700 million Singleton Bypass, the $136 million Scone Bypass and the $5.6 million Bald Nob Road upgrade.

Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said, “Projects like this not only drive jobs in the region, but also secure our economic recovery and keep Australians safe by ensuring people and freight get to their destinations sooner and safer.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole said the NSW Government had also increased its funding commitment to the project by $10.74 million, allowing Transport for to deliver the works despite extremely challenging terrain.

"The new 320-metre concrete balanced cantilever bridge will remove a recognised ‘black spot’ on the highway, so vehicles will no longer have to negotiate a dangerous curve when it opens to traffic later this year,” Mr Toole said.

"Work to build retaining walls approaching each end of the bridge and roadwork on the southern side of the bridge is also complete.

"Roadwork on the northern side is about 80 per cent complete and work is continuing to install safety barriers, railings and bridge joints, and to carry out asphalt surfacing and line marking. This is a project that’s designed to help save lives on our road.”

While this project has taken longer than originally forecast due to unanticipated geotechnical conditions combined with drought and bushfire impacts, the project is on track for completion later this year.

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