PICTURED with Uralla Shire Council Mayor Michael Pearce at Munsie Bridge near Uralla where the Federal Government has approved $800,000 in funding for major improvements.
The Australian Government has approved $800,000 to upgrade Munsie Bridge over Salisbury Waters on Gostwyck Road, giving drivers a more reliable link to the New England Highway.
The funding will be used to replace an ageing timber deck with a reinforced concrete deck utilising the existing reinforced concrete piers. While the 64 metre long, 4.5 metre wide structure will remain single lane it will be capable of carrying B-Doubles and has been designed to Higher Mass Limit standards.
Ancillary works include safety guard rails, approaches, signage, and the construction and deconstruction of the low level bypass which provides for traffic while the bridge works are being undertaken.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the 2016 election commitment would give the community and visitors to the area, known as New England’s ‘foodie capital’, safer and more reliable access.
“This is yet another example of the Australian Government investing in local regional infrastructure projects that improve safety and travel times, including for communities and freight operators that rely on good access and connectivity for their day-to-day business,” Mr Joyce said.
“Gostwyck Road is a designated tourist route that provides access between Uralla on the New England Highway and the Gostwyck, Mihi and Enmore districts.
Replacing the existing timber bridge deck with a new concrete one will reduce maintenance costs and the frequency of closures.
It also means drivers will no longer need to make a lengthy detour through Armidale to avoid the old bridge.
The upgraded bridge’s higher load capacity has additional economic benefits though reducing freight costs and further strengthening the local economy by providing a more direct route for heavy vehicles delivering goods to market.”
Work on Munsie Bridge is expected to be completed by mid-2018, weather permitting, and is fully funded by the Australian Government.