Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program recognised that maintenance of ageing timber bridges across regional NSW was a major burden for local councils and rate payers.
“Regional councils maintain more than 1800 timber bridges across the state, some of which are more than 80 years old and reaching the end of their life,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We promised to help councils replace hundreds of those bridges with structures that are safer and more resilient to natural disasters like bushfire – and now we’re delivering on that commitment.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the program promises to be a game-changer for councils struggling with bridge maintenance and assets.
“Not only will the program assist councils, it will also be a game-changer for the communities these bridges service, improving community connections to schools, towns and jobs, allowing easier movement of freight and delivering better outcomes for road safety,” Mr Toole said.
“This unprecedented funding commitment to repair NSW’s worst timber bridges builds on the $500 million we’re investing through Fixing Local Roads to deliver better journeys on the roads our regional communities use every day. Together this $1 billion investment will ensure a safe, modern and more resilient road and bridge network that will serve generations to come.”
Transport for NSW will soon hold discussions with councils to walk through the program guidelines, prioritisation framework and application process.
Information on Fixing Country Bridges funding criteria, program guidelines and how to submit an application can be found at nswroads.work/fixingcountrybridges.