Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced a $1.2 million funding package which will build a bridge and save a 40km detour for truckies.

Wambanumba Creek Bridge on Murringo Road will be replaced with a new bridge which will have a higher load capacity.

This means truck drivers will be able to cut out a 40-kilometre detour which they are currently obliged to make in order not to overload the old bridge.

“This is such a fantastic upgrade because it means 2000 heavy vehicles a year will not have to make a time-consuming and costly detour,” Ms Cooke said.

“The new bridge will allow heavy vehicles weighing more than 10 tonnes to travel on the most direct route between Murringo and Young for the first time in years, making freight movements more efficient.

“This means local growers, farmers and suppliers will be able to export more produce – such as eggs, livestock, farm feed, grain and manure – faster and safely to where it’s needed.

“The existing concrete bridge, which dates back to 1974, has a load limit of 10 tonnes, meaning nothing heavier than a pick-up truck can use it.

“This new bridge will make a huge difference to freight operators and primary producers, and I’m so pleased that this wonderful upgrade will become a reality,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, said that the Fixing Country Roads program had reached almost $346 million, funding vital road upgrades delivering better connections to local communities.

“Freight is worth more than $60 billion to the NSW economy. It is critical that NSW has a state of the art freight network as the global marketplace continues to become more competitive,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Since 2011, The Nationals have delivered more than 600 kilometres of sealed roads, almost 200 bridges upgraded and 28 truck washes built or upgraded, all delivered through the Fixing Country Roads program,” Mrs Pavey said.

The Nationals in government have invested $557 million into 310 projects across NSW, under the Fixing Country Roads and Fixing Country Rail programs.

More details can be found online at: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/fixing-country-roads and www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/fixing-country-rail.