Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today visited the site of the new Lignum Creek bridge project to mark the start of work on the replacement bridge along the Mid Western Highway, 60 kilometres west of Grenfell.

Ms Cooke said the NSW Government provided $6.7 million under the Bridges for the Bush program for the work to demolish the existing old wooden bridge and replace it with a new, wider, 72 metre long concrete bridge which can better accommodate heavy vehicles.

“The existing bridge was built in 1937 and is narrow, in poor condition and nearing the end of its life,” Ms Cooke said.

“A new bridge is needed to improve road user safety and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

“About 150 vehicles travel along this section of road each day, including 45 heavy vehicles, which make up 32 per cent of traffic,” she added.

“As the old timber pier and pile bridge is on a straight road alignment in a 100km/h zone, the ride across it is notoriously rough.

“Motorists, and particularly heavy vehicle operators, will enjoy a much smoother ride across the longer, wider concrete bridge when it is completed and opened to traffic in mid- 2019,” said Ms Cooke.

The project will employ 16 people, including six during bridge construction and up to 10 during road construction.

“A bypass track has already been built and will be used to divert traffic during the work on the new bridge, ensuring as few traffic disruptions as possible along the Mid Western Highway,” Ms Cooke said.

The work is expected to be completed mid-2019.