Feb 27, 2019

Maude residents will no longer have to contend with a troubled bridge over waters with the NSW Government today announcing $7.8 million from the Growing Local Economies fund for construction of a new Murrumbidgee River crossing.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Murray Austin Evans said the new bridge will be rated for freight road trains and include a dedicated walkway to improve pedestrian safety.

Mr Evans said the existing single lane Matthews Bridge would require significant maintenance to retain its already safety restricted 10 tonne rating.

Member for Murray Austin Evans pictured with local landholder Hamish Cullenward.

“This is an important freight crossing and the new wider two-lane bridge, which will be built adjacent to the existing bridge, will allow heavier vehicles to cross the Murrumbidgee, reducing travel times and improving safety,” Mr Evans said.

“New approach roads will connect the new bridge to the existing road network, so there will be minimal disruption to traffic during construction.

“In addition to ensuring the safety of bridge users, boosting the number of vehicles able to cross over the bridge will deliver drivers to the doorstep of local businesses in Maude and also increase tourism visits to the town.”

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government was taking action to provide regional NSW businesses with the infrastructure they need to succeed, allowing them to focus on expanding their operations and creating new jobs.

“Building a new bridge will provide certainty and assurance for freight operators travelling through Maude to the Sturt Highway, removing doubt about whether or not the route will remain viable for heavy vehicles,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This is exactly what Growing Local Economies grants are intended to do and I congratulate Hay Shire Council on this funding win and acknowledge their commitment and financial contribution to this important piece of local infrastructure.

“More importantly, the new bridge means school children on the south side of the river will be able to safely cross into Maude using the pedestrian walkway and allow the introduction of a school bus service to and from Hay.”

The $500 million Growing Local Economies Fund is part of Restart NSW, the NSW Government’s commitment to the delivery of infrastructure projects that improve the productivity and competitiveness of the state.

Growing Local Economies is one of the programs in the $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is delivering the economic infrastructure and lifestyle improvements that make regional NSW a great place to live, work and play.

For more information, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/regionalgrowth.