Ben Franklin MLC and Minister Paul Toole join members of Lismore City Council to announce the funding of 10 bridges. (L-R: Lismore City Council General Manager Michael Donnelly, Hon Ben Franklin MLC, Minister Paul Toole and Lismore City Council Executive Director of Infrastructure Services Peter Jeuken)**
Ben Franklin MLC and Minister Paul Toole join members of Lismore City Council to announce the funding of 10 bridges. (L-R: Lismore City Council General Manager Michael Donnelly, Hon Ben Franklin MLC, Minister Paul Toole and Lismore City Council Executive Director of Infrastructure Services Peter Jeuken)**

End of an era: 10 wooden bridges set to be replaced

Nearly $10 million has been allocated to replace 10 wooden bridges in the Lismore local government area.

This is part of the Fixing Country Bridges Program designed to support councils replace ageing timber bridges that are nearing the end of their life.

North Coast-based Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said building new bridges to connect our road networks and towns was important for community safety.

“Many of the original timber bridges left across the Northern Rivers no-longer safely meet the community’s needs and it is important that they are replaced,” Mr Franklin said.

“We need to have structures in our towns that allow produce to be freighted across the state without vehicle weight limits.

“We also need to have structures that allow for at least two lanes of traffic for people to get to work, get to school and for drivers to feel confident on the road.

“Lismore is a major town in the Northern Rivers that is the gateway to the North West of the State. Replacing these bridges is vital to support movement and connectivity across Northern NSW.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government had accelerated funding for the program with more than $290 million shared across 54 councils in round one.

“That’s hundreds of fast-tracked projects that will start across the state in the next 12 months, helping councils to create and support jobs, drive productivity and keep our regional communities connected,” Mr Toole said.

Lismore City Mayor Vanessa Ekins welcomed the funding announcement.

“This State Government grant to fund the replacement of ten of our ageing wooden bridges with concrete structures is great news for our community,” Cr Ekins said.

“Even though I am sad to see the old timber bridges go as they have so much history and character, these bridges are important access routes for local farming families and link our villages to allow residents to easily and safe travel to their jobs, schools and hospitals.”

102 bridges throughout Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Kyogle and Tenterfield shires have received funding to replace timber bridges in the area and this is almost a quarter of all projects to be funded in round one across NSW.

Successful applications are timber bridges, located on a council-managed road which are not a heritage or truss bridge and are a priority asset to council. A second round of the program will be offered later this year.

For more information on the Fixing Country Bridges program and to view the full list of successful projects, please visit www.nswroads.work/fixingcountrybridge



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