A new bridge at Swan Hill is one step closer, following the announcement of a preferred option and release of a community feedback summary report.
The McCallum Street alignment has been selected after comprehensive planning investigations and community consultation to understand the community’s preference.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the crossing was an important link between New South Wales and Victoria for the local community and visitors alike.
“We are getting critical projects like this in New South Wales, Victoria and indeed across Australia moving along under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline as part of our Economic Recovery Plan to secure Australia’s economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Transport for NSW will now power ahead with preliminary designs for the McCallum Street option and the community would be consulted again later this year to understand the preferred design option.
“The 124-year-old Swan Hill Bridge is an important bridge for local residents, visitors and the agricultural and freight industries, so it’s great both communities have been able to provide feedback to help our governments understand their preference for the future bridge and to help inform further planning,” Mr Toole said.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said during consultation in late 2020, the community and local government voiced a clear preference for a future Murray River crossing on the existing McCallum Street alignment.
“In response to this feedback, the Victorian and NSW governments have endorsed this alignment as the preferred location for the new bridge,” Minister Allan said.
Federal Member for Mallee Anne Webster said the new bridge would better connect communities with each other, as well as locals to job opportunities and vital services.
“The new bridge is vital for increased freight lines between southern New South Wales and Northern Victoria, connecting the region to the intermodal at Ultima, allowing better access to markets for an agriculture industry as we grow to $100 billion by 2030,” Dr Webster said.
“The new bridge will also better open up our beautiful region to visitors, allowing us to take advantage of all those holidaying locally.”
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley welcomed the progress, saying the Australian Government was committed to delivering a safer, smoother road network for the local cross border community as well as interstate traffic and travellers.
“The past 12 months really has highlighted the need for an updated river crossing, and while it has been an exhaustive process to get to this point, I can’t wait to see construction getting underway as soon as possible,” Ms Ley said.
A community feedback summary report is now available on the project website, capturing individual feedback, comments and suggestions about the future bridge design. During the consultation period, 146 community submissions were provided.