The final design for a new permanent bridge at Wallendbeen has been completed and construction is expected to begin later this year.
This is good news for local residents, Riverina transport operators and tourists who were forced to be diverted for months after a rain event severely damaged the original road-rail bridge in March of Last year.
Although rail traffic was temporarily affected, the Burley Griffin Way diversions remained in place until a temporary single-track steel bridge was completed in November.
READ ALSO: Rail Bridge Closure Hampering Movement of Vital Goods to Market
Burley Griffin Way provides a link between agricultural produce from the western regions of Riverina and Murrumbidgee and markets such as Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle.
It also takes tourists on what is known as a ‘back country’, connecting to the Newell Highway and beyond to South Australia and north-west Victoria.
Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke said that with around 1,000 vehicles traveling along the Burley Griffin Way road corridor in each direction each day, the new bridge would improve journey times as it would restore a two-lane crossing for motorists.
“The new permanent bridge has been designed to Australian standards for bridge design and will be wider than the original bridge and the temporary bridge, capable of accommodating even larger b-doubles and lorries,” a- she declared.
Construction is due to start later this year, a timeframe Ms Cooke said allowed for the period of tender announcement and evaluation, contract award and site preparation.
“Once construction begins, it is estimated that the bridge will take about a year to complete, weather permitting,” she said.
READ ALSO: New bridge clears the way for traffic on Burley Griffin Way
The original two-lane bridge was removed in March last year after being damaged by wet weather.
Transport for NSW installed the temporary single-lane steel bridge in October 2021 to restore traffic to Burley Griffin Way as quickly as possible.
The temporary bridge will remain in place while the new bridge is being built.
Transport will contact the community later this year with further information when a start date is confirmed.