Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has announced that restoration work on the 130-year Fitzgerald Bridge in Aberdeen is now complete.
The Fitzgerald Bridge is located on the New England Highway at Aberdeen, 13km north of Muswellbrook.
The Australian Government had provided A$28.6m ($21.2m) and the NSW government invested A$400,000 ($296,576) for the construction of a new two-lane bridge and restore the original bridge for use by pedestrians and cyclists.
“The new two-lane bridge opened to traffic in May last year, removing traffic from the former northbound bridge, which has now been demolished.”
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said: “The new two-lane bridge opened to traffic in May last year, removing traffic from the former northbound bridge, which has now been demolished.
“Restoration of the separate heritage listed bridge has been the focus of the last five months of the project and it is now open solely for use by pedestrians and cyclists.”
The completion of the new Fitzgerald Bridge and restoration of the original bridge finalised the Australian Government’s A$43m ($31.8m) commitment to upgrade six bridges across NSW.
NSW senator John Williams said: “Upgrading these bridges means for the first time, the entire length of the New England Highway in New South Wales, from Hexham near Newcastle to the Queensland border, is suitable for higher mass limit vehicles.
Scope of work under the Fitzgerald Bridge project included repairing kerbs, replacing guardrails with safety fencing for pedestrians and cyclists and resealing the bridge deck.
As part of the project, a new concrete path is also being built under the bridges to link the western side of the new bridge to the restored southbound bridge.
NSW minister for roads, maritime and freight Duncan Gay said: “The piers of the new bridge have been aligned with those of the restored bridge to help facilitate use of the river by kayakers and local community groups.”
The project is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to provide high-quality infrastructure to enhance the productivity of regional areas.