Work has started on the replacement of existing timber bridges across Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) with concrete bridges that can be used by larger vehicles.
Over the next 12 months, 13 existing timber bridges across the local government area (LGA) will be replaced with new concrete structures as part of $21 million work under the New South Wales Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program.
The new concrete structures will increase connectivity by allowing increased vehicle load limits, provide greater flood resilience and will reduce future ongoing maintenance costs for PMHC.
The program started on 8 May with the replacement of Logans Crossing Bridge, where the vital road connection was lost during the March 2021 flood event.
The new concrete structures, including nine bridges and four culverts, will be built to current Australian standards.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, said the program will ensure regional and rural communities can remain connected in times of emergencies.
“These bridges are built of concrete and other newer materials, making them stronger and able to carry heavier freight loads, and in some cases they are wider and higher,” she said.
“Overall, they will be more resilient and will cost Council less to maintain in the long term.”
The full Port Macquarie Hastings Council Fixing Country Bridges Program of works is expected to be open to traffic by early-2024.