Motorists travelling on the 2.1-kilometre stretch of the New England Highway between Glen Innes and Tenterfield are enjoying safer and faster journeys, with a new bridge now fully open to traffic at Bolivia Hill.
Today saw the opening of the $134 million, 320-metre-long concrete balanced cantilever bridge to traffic. It follows the opening of a single lane last month.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to delivering for the people of New England.
“This is a game-changer for drivers of the 1,500 vehicles who use this section of highway each day, including 500 heavy vehicles,” Mr Joyce, who is also the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said.
“We have funded and delivered a vital piece of infrastructure to keep freight from local agricultural and mining businesses moving safely and efficiently.
“This is another example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action, helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the project had delivered an economic boost to the region and motorists will benefit from the new bridge well into the future.
“The New England Highway is a critical route for the local agricultural and mining industries, and opening this bridge to traffic will transform the journeys of locals, tourists and freight,” Mr Toole said.
“At its peak, this project supported up to 200 jobs including for 50 locals, while 10 local contracting firms helped to deliver the final product.”
The $134 million project was jointly funded, with $98 million from the Australian Government and $36 million from the New South Wales Government.