Today marks the opening of the new concrete Dicks Creek Road Bridge at Nanima, near Murrumbateman, replacing an almost 60-year-old timber bridge that served the community well but was in desperate need of replacement.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said it was time to bring Dicks Creek Road Bridge into the 21stcentury by replacing the single lane wooden bridge.
“This project is a good example of how the Turnbull-Joyce Government’s record investment in infrastructure is flowing through to projects that are important to local communities,” Mr Chester said.
“Around the nation, our Bridges Renewal Programme is being put to great use connecting communities, improving road safety and creating jobs.”
Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said local residents welcomed the funding under the Bridges Renewal Programme Round Two to rebuild Dicks Creek Road Bridge.
“With the 1960 bridge starting to deteriorate Yass Valley Council, due to safety concerns, had to impose a 5-tonne load limit which caused significant inconvenience to residents and businesses within the area,” Senator Seselja said.
“This new bridge will improve safety and access for residents and save money for freight operators – delivering dollars into the pockets of local businesses and supporting local jobs.”
New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the new concrete bridge would allow the 5-tonne load limit to be removed.
“Removing the load restriction on the bridge will allow larger vehicles to use it, opening up a new route for freight and trucking operators. Investing in this project is an investment in the local community,” Mrs Pavey said.
Mayor of Yass Valley Rowena Abbey said Yass Valley was like many rural councils which have a number of timber bridges, which, over many years, have deteriorated and now need to be replaced.
“In December 2016 Council adopted a Bridge Rehabilitation Program to ensure the remaining eleven bridges are replaced as soon as financially possible,” Cr Abbey said.
“On behalf of Yass Valley Council and our local residents I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to both the Federal and State Governments, this funding will prove invaluable to our community.”
Local resident Lindsey Butt remembers the day the original bridge was built, with his father Owen Butt one of the many local families who supplied timber and labour for its construction.
“I was about 10 years old when the original Dicks Creek Bridge was constructed and I remember helping my father get the timber ready for the bridge construction crew,” Mr Butt said.
“The bridge has served its purpose for many years but was in desperate need of replacement and today is a great occasion for the residents of the area, and I would like to thank all involved.”
The Dicks Creek Road bridge project was jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $723,000 under the Bridges Renewal Programme and the New South Wales Government contributing $723,000 under the Fixing Country Roads Program.