Girders fly hight as Nambucca River Bridge takes shape
The first girder was installed today on the new Nambucca River Bridge at Macksville as part of the $830 million Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section was a core component of the Australian and NSW governments’ plan to duplicate the highway
“The Pacific Highway is one of the country’s most important travel and freight routes, which is why the Australian and NSW governments so far have invested about $15 billion towards completing its upgrade by the end of the decade,” Mr Chester said.
“The broader Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads projects will deliver 19.5 kilometres of four-lane divided road built to motorway standard. It will improve flood resistance, with the majority of the road protected against a 1 in 100 year flood event.
“What this creates is a much more efficient and reliable road network, particularly with the inclusion of a 110 kilometre per hour speed limit for its length.”
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the NSW economy had benefitted significantly from the continuing work on the Pacific Highway.
“More than 490 people were employed in a full time capacity in December 2015 on the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section alone, providing an important economic boost to the region,” Mr Gay said.
“By 2017, we will have more than 4,000 people working directly on the Pacific Highway, upgrade and a further 12,000 will benefit indirectly from these upgrades.
“The new Nambucca River Bridge will reduce the number of trucks passing through Macksville. This will improve wear and tear on local roads and road safety for residents while also supporting freight movements along the north coast.”
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker, who was in Macksville to witness the first girder lift, said the construction of the bridge was a significant engineering feat.
“The bridge will be 850 metres long and when completed will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction separated by a median barrier,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Each of the 21 bridge spans will be comprised of four precast concrete girders, weighing between 145 and 152 tonnes each.
“Work on the Pacific Highway Upgrade continues to surge ahead, with milestones including this girder lift for the Nambucca River Bridge, happening up and down the length of the Pacific Highway Upgrade route through the Cowper electorate.
“This work is driving the economy of the Mid North and North Coast with local jobs for local people and benefits flowing onto local businesses and suppliers.”
NSW Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said this was an important milestone in the project and brings the NSW and Australian governments a step closer towards completing the broader Pacific Highway upgrade.
“Work started last July on the new Nambucca River Bridge, which is being built about 1.2 kilometres east of the existing bridge at Macksville,” Ms Pavey said.
“Nine months later and the bridge is taking shape with the completion of the majority of the piling work and now the first girder lift. I am delighted to see us reach this construction milestone.
“Work is also progressing in other locations along the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section, as part of five major upgrade projects under construction between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.”
The Nambucca River Bridge will open to traffic with the full project in late 2017, weather permitting.
Navigation and ‘no towing’ restrictions will remain in place during bridge work with some short closures necessary for the safety of boat users and workers.
The Australian and NSW governments are each providing $415 million towards the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads section.
For more information visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au.