Roads Agriculture | April 10, 2018

Kealy calls for urgent rebuild of the Albacutya Bridge

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy MP is continuing her call for the Andrews Labor Government to immediately fund the rebuilding of the Albacutya Bridge north of Rainbow.

The load limit of the 97-year-old bridge was reduced to 18 tonne in 2016 due to age related structural damage, causing significant additional travel for heavy vehicle operators and time delays for those choosing to use the alternate route through the creek bed.

Ms Kealy has written numerous letters to the Hon Jaala Pulford MP, Member for Western Victoria and Minister for Regional Development and raised the matter in Parliament in March 2017 requesting Labor immediately fund the rebuild of the bridge so that it can continue to carry high-tonnage vehicles.

Despite an assurance from Minister Pulford in November 2016 that the Government was working closely with the Hindmarsh Shire Council to explore opportunities for State and Federal funding for this critical infrastructure, no funding has been forthcoming.

Further, the Andrews Labor Government has refused to reinstate The Nationals Country Roads and Bridges fund which would have provided Hindmarsh Shire Council with vital funds to assist to complete the bridge works.

The bridge is a critical link for gypsum pit operators, farmers, school buses and tourists.

Up to 80 trucks a day are currently being loaded from one of the three gypsum pits in the area alone, with another pit due to come on line in the near future.

“I am continually being contacted by local truck drivers frustrated by the lack of action in fixing the bridge and the need for them to divert around the bridge through the creek bed approximately 1.2km downstream of the bridge,” Ms Kealy said.

“The temporary road across the creek is single lane and can only be used by one truck at a time. It is not unusual for 6 to 12 trucks to be lined up on Albacutya Road and Kurnbrunin Road for up to 20 minutes waiting to enter the creek crossing once the road is clear.

“The Andrews Labor Government must immediately provide $3.3 million or bring back The Nationals Country Roads and Bridges fund to rebuild the bridge so that it can once again carry high-tonnage vehicles and keep jobs and business alive in the Lowan electorate,” she said.

Ms Kealy has launched a petition calling for the Andrews Labor Government to immediately fund the rebuild of the Albacutya Bridge. Petition forms are available at a number of Rainbow businesses, at Emma Kealy’s electoral office at 114 Firebrace Street, Horsham or by calling Ms Kealy’s office on 5382 0097.

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