The District Council of Tumby Bay has recently completed works to increase the bridge load capacity on a key freight route near Tumby Bay, opening up opportunities for improved efficiency of grain movement in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Bratten Bridge on the Lipson Ungarra Road was built more than 50 years ago and is no longer capable of safely carrying the loading of modern high-productivity freight vehicles.
“By retaining the existing sub-structure and providing a heavily reinforced topping slab, this upgrade retrofitted the old bridge so it can continue to serve the community into the future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Other roadworks to support the increase in freight loading, including road surface improvements, were also completed as part of the project.”
“The Australian Government continues to roll out these types of major projects across the nation under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan, which is laying the foundations for our economic recovery.
South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the Marshall Government knows it’s vital to keep building our regions and invest in projects that will improve both road safety and productivity.
“This upgrade to Bratten Bridge and other projects like it across South Australia are facilitating more growth, productivity and job creation in our regions,” Minister Wingard said.
Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton said the upgrades mean higher productivity vehicles can access the Ungarra grain storage facility and cart grain from the lower Eyre Peninsula.
“While these upgrades will add economic value, the most significant benefit is reduced travel times for heavy vehicles in the area, getting workers back home to their families safer and sooner,” Minister Coulton said.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said by allowing higher-productivity vehicles to use the bridge, the same amount of freight can be moved by fewer vehicles.
“This project will improve access for freight vehicles and agricultural machinery to create greater efficiencies and reduce transport costs for primary producers,” Mr Ramsey said.
“This not only improves safety but will also reduce vehicle emissions.”
District Council of Tumby Bay Mayor Sam Telfer thanked both levels of government for their contributions and commended them on their investment to ensure the ongoing viability of the Eyre Peninsula’s agricultural industry.
“The Eyre Peninsula produces 32 per cent of South Australia’s cereal crops and contributes $640 million to the South Australian economy every year,” Mayor Telfer said.
“To maintain a globally competitive agricultural industry, our road infrastructure must facilitate the most efficient means of commodity transport. In this case, the bridge upgrade will allow up to an additional 10.5-tonne payload on each vehicle using the route.
“This directly reduces transport costs, improves road safety through reduced vehicle movements and ensures that the most suitable and direct routes are available for the movement of commodities.”
The project has been jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $800,000 and the South Australian Government $200,000.