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Building bridges to remote communities

By Stuart Kavanagh

Two new double-lane concrete bridges on the Darling River Run between Bourke and Wilcannia are to be built to improve access for heavier vehicles and to make freight movement more efficient and safer through the Far West and Orana regions.

The current bridges at Jandra Creek 2 and Compadore Creek are narrow three-metre wide, single-lane structures that were not accessible for heavier vehicles like B-Double trucks or those carrying wide loads.

“The new eight-metre-wide bridges accommodate B-Doubles and road trains.

This will reduce journeys by around 102 kilometres for freight vehicles, which previously had to travel via Cobar,” said Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, announcing the new bridges.

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

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Both were funded under our Fixing Country Roads (FCR) program, which is about moving freight more efficiently across the state,” the Minister said.

Manager of Roads at Bourke Shire Council, Alex Saju, says he expects a 25% increase in heavy vehicle movements thanks to reduced travel times once the bridges are constructed.

“These upgraded bridges provide the added benefit of improved resilience to natural disasters like flood events, meaning access can remain open and freight, everyday motorists and emergency services can keep moving,” Mr Saju said.

The construction costs will funded through the NSW Government’s $543 million Fixing Country Roads Program, plus $400,000 from Bourke Shire Council.
Photos in bridges

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