A timber, single lane bridge over the Buchan River at Buchan will be replaced with a new $3.3 million structure.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has secured $1.665 million in Federal Government funding to replace the Buchan River bridge under round three of the Bridges Renewal Program.
Mr Chester, who is also Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said he had worked closely with East Gippsland Shire Council to identify key bridges for replacement. The upgrade will improve connectivity and safety in the region.
“The replacement of the Buchan River bridge will deliver better safety outcomes for the local farming community, and also ensure this vital connection between Orbost and Buchan remains open,” Mr Chester said.
“This is an aging timber bridge and it has deteriorated over time. Its decking has gaps that are a safety risk to road users, particularly motorcyclists and cyclists.”
East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor Joe Rettino said the council would jointly fund the $3.3 million project.
“The existing single lane timber bridge will be replaced with a two-lane concrete bridge,” Cr Rettino said. “That will increase the bridge’s current load capacity, enabling B-Doubles and other heavy vehicles to safely use it.
“Replacing this bridge will make a noticeable difference for residents and provide substantial economic and social dividends, making a real difference to the day-to-day lives of locals.”
The Buchan River bridge is the second bridge in East Gippsland to be funded under the Bridges Renewal Program. The Lindenow-Glenaladale Road bridge at Woodglen have also received financial support from the Federal Government.
The $162.53 million funding toward round three of the Bridges Renewal program is in addition to the $216 million committed under the first two rounds.
“The renewal and upgrade of 186 bridges under this round will deliver social and economic benefits throughout regional Australia,” Mr Chester said.
For more information on the program, including a full list of successful projects, is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/bridges.