JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Motorists will experience more reliable and safer journeys across Dora Creek with an upgraded and stronger Freemans Drive bridge at Cooranbong now open to traffic.
The $1.3 million project is jointly funded through the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and Lake Macquarie City Council on a 50:50 basis.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Bridges Renewal program is upgrading and replacing bridges to connect communities and reduce freight costs for businesses.
“That’s why we’re putting over $760 million over a decade toward this program, with an ongoing commitment of at least $85 million a year from 2025 onwards,” Minister Joyce said.
“This project highlights the Liberal and Nationals Government’s focus on regional communities by investing in bridge safety upgrades across New South Wales.
“Projects like these are a game-changer for freight operators who rely on them to get from A to B as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr David Gillespie said the improvements would make the road safer for locals and tourists in the area.
“From tourism, to wines, agriculture, logistics, manufacturing and mining, this region contributes a great deal to Australia’s economy, and to continue to do so, drivers need to have safe roads to travel on,” Dr Gillespie said.
“The global pandemic has reminded everyone of the importance of keeping our local supply chains resilient. Investing in road infrastructure is essential for Australia’s supply chains to remain open. This project will help ensure that all those who enjoy products from the Hunter – both in Australia and internationally – can continue to do so.”
Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said that the project was one of many being delivered by the Liberal and Nationals Government across the Hunter region.
“Good, safe roads are so vitally important to the local economy in the Hunter, which is why our Government is committed to investing in critical road infrastructure across the region,” Senator Davey said.
“I know this upgrade will be welcomed by the many locals who depend upon the Freemans Drive Bridge for the daily commute to work, or to move freight or stock for their business.”
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said with more than 8,000 vehicles crossing the bridge daily, the upgrade works strengthened the superstructure and deck of the bridge to increase the load capacity of the bridge and ensure longevity of an important transport link in western Lake Macquarie.
“The works also ensure that the bridge is not subject to any weight limits in the future and will make journeys easier and safer for all road users,” Cr Fraser said.
“It’s good to see the bridge works complete and I thank the community for their patience, given temporary traffic arrangements, including single-lane traffic and a temporary speed limit of 40 km/h, have been in place since late 2019.
“The council is continuing to invest close to $30 million in 2021 and 2022 on traffic, transport and road infrastructure projects, because we know improving our road network makes a real difference to people’s lives while also providing much needed local jobs.”
More information on the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program is available at https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/local-initiatives/bridges-renewal-program.aspx.