16 Nov Bridge upgrades to support freight growth
The north and southbound rail overpass bridges on the Hume Fwy at Tallarook are the first of 17 to be upgraded along the route as part of bridge strengthening works.
The two bridges had been identified as a priority by the Victorian Government, and the projects were being funded jointly by the Australian and Victorian governments through their respective National Highway Upgrade and Stronger Country Bridges Programs.
Patron Senator for McEwen James Paterson said there was a need to improve infrastructure, such as bridges, along key freight routes in north-east Victoria.
‘‘Improving road infrastructure is a really important priority for the government, and in this case, it’s really important for productivity,’’ he said. ‘‘This is going to allow bigger, and by definition more efficient trucks, to get up to the Goulburn Valley and deliver that produce to Melbourne and to the ports in Melbourne to go elsewhere in the world.’’
VicRoads’ team leader Rowan McEwan, who is overseeing the project, said the installation of carbon fibre laminate strips will strengthen the bridges.
‘‘It’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with any of the bridges, but with industry growing up in Shepparton, there will be a need to get heavier vehicles to the Port of Melbourne and therefore we need to ensure these bridges are able to handle the bigger, heavier trucks,’’ he said.
Other local bridges set to under go strengthening works include one northbound and one southbound over Sunday Creek, Seymour, one northbound and one southbound over the Goulburn River, Seymour, and one northbound and one southbound over the Goulburn Valley Floodplain, Seymour.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan praised the work being done as part of the project. ‘‘Safe roads save lives and I am pleased the two rail overpass bridges at Tallarook will be first to receive upgrades as part of the Federal Government’s package,’’ she said.