May 25, 2009

Sheahan Bridge duplication offically opened

Sheahan Bridge duplication offically opened

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 8 2009

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today opened the new $78 million Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai.

Mr Albanese said the bridge opening was a major milestone in the duplication of the Hume Highway to four lane divided carriageway by 2012.

"I’m delighted to be here to officially commission the new Sheahan Bridge, which will open to traffic for the first time later today," said Mr Albanese.

"The duplication of this new two lane bridge began in November 2007 and I’m pleased to report the work been completed ahead of schedule.

"The new bridge and road approaches will greatly improve road safety for both the local community and the interstate freight moving along this busy highway.

"The Hume Highway is the main freight route between Sydney and Melbourne, carrying over 20 million tonnes of road freight every year.

"Together with the Coolac Bypass, which is due to open in the next few weeks, this project will complete the duplication of the Hume Highway between Sydney and the Sturt Highway turnoff."

Mr Daley said the NSW Government was proud to be a part of the duplication of the Sheahan Bridge.

"Constructing a bridge of this length over a floodplain is no easy feat – it’s one that requires huge amounts of materials and resources," he said.

"The RTA has done a fantastic job making sure this major infrastructure project is delivered on time and on budget.

"It’s also supported around 180 jobs over the course of the project, providing support for families in south western NSW.

"The RTA will now carry out essential maintenance work on the existing bridge until September, after which time both bridges will start operating as separate carriageways for the first time," Mr Daley said.