Local contractor McInnes Earthmoving have begun to build access tracks and piling pads at the Avon River Bridge site. This will allow heavy machinery, piling rings and mobile cranes to operate.
More than 3,000 tonnes of material, which has been sourced from Olsson Sand and Gravel Supplies in Longford, will be used in the construction of the tracks and pads.
The new $95 million bridge will allow trains to travel up to 90 kilometres per hour rather than the current limit of 10 kilometres per hour on the existing bridge and create the opportunity for freight trains to run on this section of the line in the future.
Around 300 people will work on the construction of the new bridge, which is expected to be completed in early 2021.
The community will be able to watch the new bridge come to life, with a viewing area to be set up near the construction site in coming weeks.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan visited Stratford to mark a major milestone for the project, which is being delivered as part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade.
“This project will provide a boost for the community of Stratford and its surrounds and I’m excited to see crews working to build the new bridge,” Mr. Chester said.
Ms. Allan said local jobs were a focus for the project and the government wants as many local suppliers as possible delivering these works for the community.
“The Gippsland Line Upgrade isn’t just about providing better services for passengers in the region, it’s also creating jobs and local opportunities,” she said.