The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce pledged $3.5 million for the duplication of the Jewry Street Bridge in Tamworth.
He said the project would involve the construction of a second bridge – or additional carriageway – adjacent to the existing Jewry Street Bridge and provide additional lanes of roadway between the bridge and Manilla Road.
Mr Joyce said the new bridge was necessary due to continued expansion of the Taminda Industrial Estate and ongoing residential development at Hills Plain and Moore Creek/Daruka as well as school expansions and new businesses to the north of Tamworth.
“The growth of new housing projects to the north of the city is causing increased congestion at the intersection of Jewry Street and Manilla Road,” Mr Joyce said.
Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Cr Col Murray, said the intersection was “one of the busiest in the North West”, and the grant was “fantastic news for the city”.
“We often have gridlock with traffic coming in from the industrial area and the sporting fields on the western side of the river. This is such good news,” Cr Murray said.
“The locals are saying there is now an unacceptable level of congestion on this important road, so Barnaby’s announcement means a tremendous amount to this city,” he said.
Cr Murray said the project was well into the planning stages and “was almost shovel-ready” so work could “begin in the near future”.
Mr Joyce said the Council’s traffic modelling said if the problem was not addressed in the “near future” traffic volume would continue to grow and levels of road safety would continue to decline to an “unacceptable” state.
“We’re always working hard on vital infrastructure – roads, and water – as well as creating jobs,” Mr Joyce said.
“I’m delighted to have announced 175 jobs being moved to Armidale with the APVMA, funding for water infrastructure feasibility studies at Dungowan, Mole River and Walcha and now the duplication of Jewry Street Bridge,” he said.
Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Cr Col Murray and the Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Baranby Joyce.