The new Abington Bridge on Thunderbolts Way was officially opened today by the Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay, Senator John Williams and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.
The $1.45 million bridge has been jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments and Uralla Shire Council.
Mr Gay said Abington Bridge is a great example of what happens when two coalition governments work closely together to deliver results for regional communities.
“The new bridge sees the removal of dog legged bends, eliminating what had been a significant bottleneck for people communing between Uralla, Armidale and Inverell.
“This bridge has also been built stronger to accommodate heavy vehicles ensuring freight and farm machinery movements in and out of the town centres of Uralla, Armidale and Inverell are safe, efficient and timely.”
The NSW Government provided $705,000 through Fixing Country Roads, the flagship program for the bush, providing funds to help councils repair local roads and bridges and improve regional road and freight pinch points in country NSW.
The contribution was matched by Federal Government funding through the Bridge Renewal Program. Uralla Shire Council managed the project and contributed a further $43,000 in funding.
Senator Williams said the project highlights the importance of having representatives who were able to come together across all levels of government to fight for the needs of the community.
“The previous bridge was a narrow, 92 year old single-lane, timber-decked bridge used by more than 570 vehicles a day. The new bridge is a dual-lane concrete bridge removing a significant transport and freight pinch point along this road,” Mr Williams said.
“The previous bridge had a 45 km/h speed limit, the new bridge allows for 100 km/h crossing of the bridge allowing people to get where they need to go sooner.”
Mr Marshall said the new 45-metre Abington Bridge would deliver a better transport route for local residents, businesses and farmers.
“Council and the community have been crying out for a new bridge for years and I am delighted to see it delivered so quickly after the completion of its big brother, Emu Crossing, a little further up the road,” Mr Marshall said.
“I congratulate all involved on yet another bridge successful project in our region that helps farmers, freight transporters, tourists and local motorists.”
The old bridge is expected to be removed within the next two months.