Lake Macquarie Council has awarded the construction tender for a $3.1 million replacement of a 50-year-old bridge at Wilton Road, Awaba.

Civil and bridge construction experts, Symal Infrastructure New South Wales, were awarded the tender for the works.

The project received $1.7 million in State Government funding under the Fixing Country Bridges Program, with Council contributing the remainder.

Lake Macquarie City Council Mayor, Kay Fraser, said the replacement of this vital asset would benefit the whole community by increasing safety, amenity and accessibility.

“The bridge, which was originally constructed in September 1969, is nearing the end of its useful life,” Cr Fraser said.

“For the past few years, load limits have been in place to allow vehicles to continue to use the bridge until we could replace the ageing structure.

“The works will bring the bridge back up to standard, allowing us to remove the load limits and reintroduce two-lane traffic across the bridge, making it much safer for motorists travelling this route.”

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said the bridge at Wilton Road is one of over 400 bridges across New South Wales that will benefit under the Program.

“Fixing Country Bridges is a $500 million New South Wales Government program enabling councils to replace hundreds of ageing timber bridges and better connect regional and rural communities,” Mr Farraway said.

“Bridges play a vital role in regional New South Wales, supporting growth and development, as well as providing access to critical services. These connections stimulate the economy and promote the social wellbeing of our communities.”

The works will also include the construction of a shared pathway to facilitate safe pedestrian and cycle movements across the bridge, an upgrade to the entry to Awaba Railway Station car park and the relocation of a water main.

Symal Infrastructure New South Wales Senior Project Manager, Alex Daffy, said they are delighted to partner with Council to deliver the Wilton Road Bridge at Awaba.

“With our New South Wales headquarters based in Newcastle and several of our employees residing in Lake Macquarie we are extremely excited for the opportunity to be part of upgrading key infrastructure in our backyard,” Mr Daffy said. 

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Special Projects Officer, Micah Barnes, said to accommodate the bridge replacement works, a bridge closure of up to ten days is required.

“The closure is expected to take place in August 2022, however, once a date is confirmed further notification will be provided to the community,” Mr Barnes said.

“During the closure, vehicles will need to use alternative routes to access the area. Pedestrian access across the bridge to Awaba Station will be maintained during the bridge closure.” 

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