Work has been completed on three bridges along Stewart’s Bridge Road resulting in a vital upgrade to the agricultural industry access route to market.
Shackell’s Folly, Wallala and Mahoney’s bridges are now able to carry B Double trucks and importantly, emergency services including the CFA can safely access at least 25 properties, which in the past were unreachable when the bypasses were underwater during flood events.
Funding of $950,000 was received from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Programme to assist in this $1.85 million project.
Mayor Libro Mustica said the load limit of 20 tonnes for Shackell’s Folly Bridge and only 10 tonnes for Wallala and Mahoney’s bridges prior to the upgrade, made expansion in the agriculture industry prohibitive.
“These works have now opened up the ability for B Double trucks to transport grain, stock and supplies along Stewart’s Bridge Road to the main freight routes,” Cr Mustica said.
“And of course, we have seen only too well these past few weeks how important it is for emergency services to gain access to rural properties and the bridge upgrades now make this necessary safety requirement possible.
“Another positive is the anticipated increase in tourism with upgraded all-weather access to the nearby state forest and Murray River now available.”
Cr Mustica said $300,000 was also received from the Victorian Government for this project, from the Local Roads to Market Program.
“The demand for state and federal grant funding is extremely competitive, particularly now with the constraints of rate capping,” he said.
“It would have been unlikely council could have contemplated completing this much needed project without state and federal support.
“We will continue to put forward quality applications to assist with the repair and upgrade of our extensive road and bridge network that underpins our economy and community connectivity.”