The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $60 million to replace the Swan Hill Bridge in northwest Victoria as part of its investment in a safer and more efficient freight corridor between Echuca and Robinvale.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this $60 million would improve freight efficiency and safety along the corridor, benefitting the local and regional economy by lowering business transport costs and boosting tourism.
“A new bridge without load limits will be a boon for the regional businesses that rely on this key strategic freight corridor linking Victoria and New South Wales, and we are proud to be making this important project a reality,” Mr McCormack said.
Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad said the commitment is part of the Government’s investment in the corridor under its Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative.
“Nationwide, ROSI funding will catalyse economic activity by driving freight efficiencies for regional businesses, improve access to communities throughout our regions and stimulate tourism by helping visitors get around more safely and efficiently,” Mr Broad said.
The existing single-lane, heritage-listed steel and timber Swan Hill Bridge was built in 1896 and requires regular ongoing maintenance.
Replacing the bridge will not only improve access for the local community but it will avoid the costs and impacts on the harvest season that currently hamper the region’s industries.
This is a great example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to supporting our regions through investment in much-needed road infrastructure.
The project will drive freight efficiencies, supporting Swan Hill’s status as a centre for the sale and distribution of regional produce.
The bridge is currently restricted in terms of load and vehicle width limits, which prevent higher-mass vehicles from using the crossing. Sustaining the capability of the Murray River crossing is crucial to the town and broader region’s economy.