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A new bridge linking Bairnsdale’s industrial area and the East Gippsland Livestock Exchange is starting to take shape.

The $2.5 million project is being undertaken by local firm Tambo Constructions and will see Giles Street extended from Dalmahoy Street to Bosworth Road, and construction of a new three-span concrete bridge over Magee’s Gully.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester announced $590,000 toward the Giles Street extension when he was Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. East Gippsland Shire Council is providing the remainder of funding.

Mr Chester said the project had strong support from the local business community and would have long-lasting safety and productivity benefits.

“This was a solution that came from the community to meet the needs of heavy vehicle operators and local traffic,” Mr Chester said.

“The travelling distance between the industrial precinct and sale yards will be reduced by 1.5 kilometres and importantly, the Giles Street extension will provide a detour away from the Bairnsdale central business district.”

East Gippsland Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Gary Gaffney said it was estimated more than 1700 vehicles, including 770 heavy vehicles, would use the new route.

“The community is looking forward to the completion of this project to take heavy vehicles away from the main shopping areas,” Mr Gaffney said.

“The project is due for completion by the middle of next year, but at present is ahead of schedule and maybe open to traffic even earlier.”

The Federal Government is funding the Giles Street extension project under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. East Gippsland Shire Council is jointly funding the work to extend Giles Street, while also funding the construction of the new bridge.

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