Transportation of produce and farm supplies will be assisted by a new Boorolong Road bridge officially opened on Saturday.
Nearby landholders joined Federal, State and Council representatives for a community celebration to launch the new Abington Creek Bridge.
The concrete box culvert helped preserve an important route for agricultural industries north west of Armidale.
“The existing one-lane timber bridge was old and would have soon required a downgrading in its load capacity from 44 tonnes to 25 tonnes,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“That would have prevented large farm trucks and other heavy vehicles from using the bridge and would have forced them to take a detour, which would have brought inconvenience and increased haulage costs for landholders.”
Councillor Murray said the new structure also brought improved safety for all road users.
“The culvert is two metres wider than the old timber structure and now accommodates two standard-width lanes, enabling vehicles to pass safety.
“In addition, Council used the bridge replacement as an opportunity to reposition the creek crossing, to improve the safety of the road approaches.”
He said the upgrade would help prevent future interruptions to traffic because of flooding.
Stream flows would be improved by the structure’s better position and design and the culvert has a higher deck, which would stop it from being inundated by flooding.
The $363,000 project is part of Council’s Bridge Renewal Program and was assisted by contributions of $54,405 each from the State and Federal Governments.