Thursday, June 20, 2024

Federation Council raises bridge concerns with roads minister

Federation Council representatives have raised the need for an urgent replacement of the municipality’s ageing Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge during a meeting with NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway.

The Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge was built in 1924 and provides a vital transport link across Lake Mulwala, between the twin towns of Mulwala in NSW and Yarrawonga in Victoria.

The current bridge receives funding from the two State Governments and as a result of high maintenance costs, the age of the bridge, its narrow width, and increasing traffic demands, the Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge has been scheduled for replacement.

A date has not yet been set for construction of the new bridge but it is scheduled as a funding priority within the next 5-10 years.

However, in a recent submission to Transport NSW, Council urged the agency to reassess its priorities as outlined in the 2018 Murray River Crossings Investment Prioritisation Assessment, where the Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge is currently ranked eighth highest priority for investment, behind Swan Hill, Tooleybuc, John Foord, Murrabit, Towong and George Chaffey bridges.

Federation Council Mayor, Pat Bourke said Council welcomed the opportunity to speak with Minister Farraway and thanked Member for Albury, Justin Clancy for his assistance in coordinating the meeting. 

“Council has serious concerns in respect to the reliability, condition, safety and proximity to alternate crossings and pedestrian and cyclist facilities with the current bridge and we made this known to Minister Farraway,” he said.

“Council requests that urgent consideration is given to increase the priority of this bridge replacement due to our serious concerns, also shared frequently by our community and other road users.”

He said recent traffic counts had shown a growing number of traffic movements daily over the bridge.

“With both Federation and Moira councils experiencing high levels of growth within our townships, traffic is only expected to continue to increase as we experience unprecedented residential and industrial growth. Both State Governments need to ensure this growth is supported by the delivery of a new bridge,” Mayor Bourke said.

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