Narrow bridges

New Bridges, Big Win for Wild West Freight

The NSW Government has upgraded critical freight bridges in the Far West and Orana regions

The NSW Government has improved the width and quality of many freight bridges

The New South Wales government says two new double-lane concrete bridges on the Darling River Run between Bourke and Wilcannia are improving access for heavier vehicles and making freight transport more efficient and safer in the regions of the Far West and Orana.

Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said the old wooden bridges at Jandra Creek 2 and Compadore Creek were narrow, three-metre-wide single-lane structures that were not accessible to heavier vehicles such as B-Double trucks or those carrying heavy loads.

“The new eight-metre-wide bridges accommodate B-Doubles and road trains. This will reduce journeys by approximately 102 kilometers for freight vehicles, which previously had to pass through Cobar,” Farraway said.

“The new bridges will improve road safety, with the wider bridge having a dedicated northbound and southbound lane, reducing the risk of accidents, particularly in windy and dusty conditions when visibility is poor.”

Both bridges were funded under the New South Wales government’s Fixing Country Roads (FCR) scheme, which aims to move freight more efficiently across the state.

“FCR projects support jobs and economic growth in the NSW region by reducing the cost of getting goods to market. As costs come down, consumers benefit in their local supermarket and exporters become more competitive “Farraway said.

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Bourke Shire Council roads director Alex Saju said heavy vehicle movements on the Darling River Run are expected to increase by 25 per cent due to reduced journey times.

“More than 30,000 tons of cargo will be transported over these bridges every year,” Saju said.

“The project was put on hold in March and April 2021 following severe flooding in the area and it is great to see the now completed bridges playing their part in boosting the economy and social fabric of the County.

“These improved bridges offer the added benefit of greater resilience to natural disasters such as flooding, which means access can remain open and freight, everyday motorists and emergency services can keep moving.”

The $1.9 million project included $1.5 million from the New South Wales government’s $543 million country road repair program and $400,000 from the Bourke Shire Council.

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