A long-awaited replacement of an old, narrow bridge on a key south-west freight route is expected to provide a $9.3-million boost to the economy over the next 25 years.
More than $5 million will be spent to upgrade the Castle Carey Road bridge, an important link between Mortlake and Camperdown, is expected to begin in spring.
Corangamite Shire mayor Jo Beard said the upgrade would better cater to B-Doubles and make the road safer.
“Castle Carey Road is a busy local road, but also an important freight route for Corangamite and Moyne shires,” she said.
“A higher load limit and straighter approaches to the bridge will make it much more suitable for large trucks using the road.”
The new bridge will be a 67-metre-long, nine-metre-wide two-lane concrete deck bridge that will be two metres higher, making it less susceptible to damage and road closure due to flooding.
“A lot of work has gone into the planning phase with the road at both ends needing realignment to make the approach safer,” Cr Beard said.
“We are waiting to see what parts of the project can be done in winter, but the reality is that most of the construction will kick off in spring or early summer when the weather fines up.”
“A higher load limit and straighter approaches to the bridge will make it much more suitable for large trucks using the road.”Corangamite Shire mayor Jo Beard
The federal government has contributed $2.6 million through its Bridges Renewal Program, Corangamite Shire has committed $1.6 million and the state government came to the table with $1 million through its Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund.
State Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the upgrade would save heavy vehicles that cannot use the current bridge thousands of kilometres each week.
“Fixing Castle Carey Bridge helps local farm businesses and their supply chains improve productivity,” she said.
“Replacing Castle Carey Bridge, near Glenormiston, will save producers 6885 kilometres of travel every week – meaning agricultural produce can get from paddock to port more efficiently." The state government expects the overall economic benefit from the bridge upgrade will be $9.3 million over 25 years.