Safer journeys for motorists travelling on the New England Highway between Glen Innes and Tenterfield are on the way, with one lane of the new Bolivia Hill bridge to open to traffic this week.
The northbound lane of traffic on the new 320-metre, concrete-balanced cantilever bridge is expected to open later this week, removing a recognised ‘black spot’ on the highway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce said the $134 million upgrade of this 2.1 kilometre section of road would help ensure 1,500 motorists, including 500 heavy vehicles, return safely to their loved ones every day.
“The Federal Government provided $98 million for the Bolivia Hill upgrade as part of our commitment to ensure the infrastructure we need and deserve in regional Australia is funded and delivered,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.
“This is another example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action, helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery.”
“It’s been a challenging project through extremely steep terrain with the challenges of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 and I look forward to seeing the bridge fully open to traffic in the coming weeks.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said on top of delivering safer, more reliable and efficient journeys for motorists, the project has also supported about 200 jobs, including 50 locals, and also engaged ten local contracting firms.
“This highway upgrade shows how well both the Australian and NSW governments work together to deliver game-changing infrastructure for our regional communities,” Mr Toole said.
“The New England Highway is a critical route for the local agricultural and mining industries – and opening one lane of the bridge to traffic moves us closer to delivering a highway upgrade that will transform how locals, tourists and freight moves across the region.”
The second lane of the bridge is expected to open to traffic in the coming weeks, with traffic continuing to operate under the current single-lane, alternate-flow arrangements until then.
The $134 million project is being jointly funded, with $98 million from the Australian Government and $36 million from the NSW Government.
More information on this project is available at: nswroads.work/boliviahill.