The Andrews Labor Government will strengthen bridges along major regional freight corridors through the Stronger Country Bridges Program.
$35.8 million in funding will be fast-tracked to strengthen 48 bridges in regional
Victoria, which will reduce transport costs for freight and increase productivity.
Members for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford and Gayle Tierney today announced that $2
million would be spent to restore and strengthen the bridge over Merino Creek at Merino and Wennicott Creek at Carapook as part of the program.
The bridge over Merino Creek on the Portland-Casterton Road will receive $990,000 in funding and the bridge over Wennicott Creek on the Glenelg Highway will receive $1.02 million in funding.
Under the program, 17 priority bridges in 15 locations would be strengthened across rural and regional Victoria to help reduce load limit restrictions and open up the routes to the freight industry.
The Glenelg Highway and the Portland-Casterton Road are vital links on the regional road network, and the $2 million investment announced today is further proof that the Government is committed to rural and regional Victoria.
The two roads are important freight routes providing access for the grain, dairy and timber industries, and it is vital that we continue to maintain reliable and safe access.
The Glenelg Highway is a particularly important alternate route from the South Australian border to Ballarat and through to Melbourne.
Approximately 380 vehicles, including 97 trucks, travel on the bridge over Merino Creek each day, and 1330 vehicles travel over Wennicott Creek each day, including 341 trucks.
Regular users of these bridges know how important this road is to ensure that our regional communities remain connected and accessible.
Works will include placing a concrete overlay on the surface of the bridge to prevent movement and strengthen the structure, allowing the bridge to be used for many years to come.
Design work will begin in the coming months, with construction beginning in early 2016.
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney
“Not only will this funding ensure that our rural and regional roads don’t deteriorate below acceptable standards, but it will enable the roads to continue to support the economic and social activities of our regional communities.”
“We want all road users to travel safely, wherever they are in regional Victoria, and this Government is continuously looking at ways to improve the safety and reliability of our
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford
“The Victorian Government is committed to providing safe, accessible and well maintained roads and bridges right across the state and that includes all of our rural and regional roads.”
“This Government has listened to the thousands of Victorians living in rural and regional Victoria that use these roads every day and we have heard how crumbling and deteriorating roads affect their everyday lives.”