Prime Mover Magazine

Agriculture industry B-double access improved with new bridges in Moira Shire

Upgrades to bridges in the Moira Shire in Victoria will advantage emergency services and enhance access for grain carrying B-doubles to nearby main freight routes according to the Federal Government.

The three bridges, Shackell's Folly, Wallala and Mahoney's, are all located on Stewarts Bridge Road and can now accommodate B-double combinations and Country Fire Authority vehicles.

A critical link given the close proximity to Moira producers' market, the bridges will now provide vital access for the agriculture industry and 25 properties prone to flood events.

The load limits on each of the bridges has been increased to drive efficiencies for farming businesses and other regional industries whose growth potential has been restricted until now.

Prior to the upgrades, which are part of a national $640 million Bridges Renewal Program, a load limit of 20 tonnes for Shackell's Folly Bridge and ten tonnes for Wallala and Mahoney's bridges were in place.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrades extended the lifespan of the structures, minimising future maintenance work.

“The Stewarts Bridge Road Three Bridges Replacement project will improve safety and access for those travelling in and out of the area," he said.

“It forms part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects getting Australians to where they need to be sooner and safer,” said McCormack.

Load limits on the three bridges have been increased to 166 tonnes and extended the lifespan of the bridges to 150 years.

Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said rural workers, commuters and townships which rely on tourism would appreciate the flow-on effects of more efficient and sturdy bridges.

“These bridges will increase productivity by boosting access to markets for our farmers and supporting tourism in our rural towns,” Mr Drum said.

“Importantly, the project will enhance safety within the community by providing easier access for the CFA.”

Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said the all weather access provided by the upgrades would have a positive impact on tourism to the nearby state forest and Murray River while delivering a major boost to the CFA.

“We have seen only too well these past few weeks how important it is for emergency services to gain access to rural properties and the bridge upgrades now make this necessary safety requirement possible," he said.

The Australian Government provided $950,000 toward the project under Round 3 of the Bridges Renewal Program. The Victorian Government provided $300,000 and Moira Shire Council $600,000.

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