Better connectivity after five new bridges open in Yass

SECURITY: Carolyn Austin and Geoff McGowan-Lay say the new bridge on Grace's Flat Road 'has added security of access to [our] property. It looks neat and well built.' Photo: Neha Attre
SECURITY: Carolyn Austin and Geoff McGowan-Lay say the new bridge on Grace's Flat Road 'has added security of access to [our] property. It looks neat and well built.' Photo: Neha Attre

For Carolyn Austin and Geoff McGowan-Lay, who live a short distance from Grace's Flat Road, the old bridge's replacement means improved safety.

"It was an old bridge and not in great condition," Ms Austin said. "Its replacement has added security of access to [our] property. It looks neat and well built."

Mr McGowan-Lay said traffic now went well over the bridge. "The road gets narrow ahead, so this has turned out to be a great connect for the traffic," he said.

The old bridge on Grace's Flat Road was one of five that were a part of Yass Valley Council's $11.6 million timber bridge replacement program.

Three bridges on Childowla Road (two concrete and one steel) and concrete bridges on Graces Flat and Burrinjuck roads form part of the 11 bridges replaced after the council secured nearly $2.5 million in NSW Government funding under the Restart NSW Fixing Country Roads Program.

Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman officially opened the bridges. Photo: Neha Attre

Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman officially opened the bridges. Photo: Neha Attre

Yass Valley mayor Rowena Abbey and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman officially opened the bridges on February 19.

The old Grace's Flat Road bridge was regularly used by school buses, and people with livestock and produce. "The bridge was very close to collapsing," Cr Abbey said. "It makes a difference for people who use it. It may have taken us another 25 years before we could have worked on the renewal of these bridges. To bring it forward four years and deliver it ... is a great thing."

Mrs Tuckerman said growth in rural areas was critical to the state's growth also. "I am pleased to see the State Government is acknowledging and making sure that infrastructure is getting built in regional areas," she said.

The overall construction program cost $5.6 million. Works started in February 2019 and all 11 bridges are now completed. There will be no load limits on any of the bridges. The council matched funding of $2,485,000 from the state's Fixing Country Roads Program using a special rate variation (SRV) in 2016-17.

"The new bridges are assisting in future proofing the road network and will serve the community well for many, many years to come," Cr Abbey said.

"We are extremely grateful to the State Government for providing this substantial grant funding."

Yass Valley Council has funded the remaining cost of the extensive infrastructure project, which will be completed when the final three bridges are opened in March of this year.