Hilltops Council has been successful in receiving funding of $2,409,700 to replace Sheedys Bridge on Woodlands Road, Kingsvale, under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the 85-year-old bridge will be replaced with a stronger, sturdier and more resilient concrete bridge.
“This funding is about ensuring that our councils have the support they need to keep the community connected,” Ms Cooke said.
“We know ageing timber bridges like this one are just not up to the task anymore, especially during a flood so by replacing them with more modern materials we not only improve our network resilience but also take the pressure off the council to maintain them.”
“As we’ve seen with the recent flooding, a concrete structure can be the difference between reopening a road the day after it floods, or closing it for a week until an impacted bridge is assessed and repaired.”
Hilltops Council General Manager Mr Anthony O’Reilly said that this upgrade will improve community connectivity.
“The new structure will increase the weight limit on the bridge which will provide farmers better access to markets for agriculture products which is the life blood of the economy,” Mr O’Reilly said.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the program was helping local councils upgrade their bridges and keep communities connected.
“We are building what matters through the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program. We’ve already rolled out funding for more than 450 bridges,” Mr Farraway said.
“We are helping councils build bridges that are wider, higher and stronger and support greater load limits. Allowing greater volumes of freight will mean a boost for transport efficiencies and productivity in agriculture and other rural industries.”
“These bridges will play a vital role in connecting rural and regional communities to markets, jobs and essential services such as schools and hospitals.”
More than $300 million was awarded to councils under Round 1 of the Program, to replace more than 400 timber structures across 53 LGAs, and in July this year, a further $49.25 million was provided to replace 34 bridges across 21 LGAs.