Motorists travelling through Weddin Shire along the Mid Western Highway will now have a safer route with the completion of a new $6.2 million bridge at Lignum Creek.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke last Monday, May 13, cut the ribbon at the site to officially declare the new bridge open and the multi-million dollar project complete.
The bridge, which replaces a wooden crossing dating from 1937, has been delivered almost two months ahead of schedule and half a million dollars within budget.
"It's a fantastic day here in Weddin Shire where we've officially unveiled a stronger, wider and, more importantly, safer bridge on this vital link across this part of the Cootamundra electorate," Ms Cooke said.
"Lignum Creek Bridge is a critical crossing on the Mid Western Highway, which sees 250 vehicles pass a day.
"A third of that is heavy vehicles - that's about 75 trucks a day.
"The new bridge is stronger, wider and smoother and will make for a safer and less fatiguing journey for all highway users."
The bridge joins Grenfell on the Mid Western Highway with West Wyalong on the Newell Highway.
"The project was budgeted at $6.7 million, but it was delivered for just $6.2 million, allowing us to reinvest those savings into other great projects across the state," Ms Cooke said.
"The project also supported local jobs and investment by employing 16 people; six people during bridge construction and up to 10 people during road construction.
"I was lucky enough to see the skill of these bridge builders last October when I watched them expertly lower almost 24 tonnes of bridge girder into place.
"They had to do that 16 times to complete this fantastic new crossing."
Work started on the new bridge in July last year and was completed sooner than expected thanks to favourable weather conditions and good project design and planning.
It is a credit to all involved.
For more information regarding the Lignum Creek bridge project visit the website at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/western-nsw/lignumcreek-bridge-replacement/index.html.