The bridge has been officially opened and is the last wooden bridge to be replaced across the Macleay.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Kempsey Shire Mayor Liz Campbell opened the 144 metre bridge near the Skillion Nature Reserve.
“The new two-lane cement bridge, built 1.8 metres higher, means the bridge will remain open more often to keep motorists moving and trade occurring,” Mr. Conaghan said.
“The new bridge increases the load limit from 15 tonnes to 166 tonnes, enabling more efficient heavy vehicle movement and increased productivity and community access.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrade was part of the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.
The Federal Government is working in 50:50 partnerships with local and state governments to upgrade and replace bridges across the country.
“Every new bridge will make it easier for people to access their communities, as well as supporting regional economies by creating safer roads for heavy vehicle and freight drivers,” Mr. McCormack said.
Under round three of the Bridges Renewal Program, the Australian Government provided $1,995,615 for the replacement bridge and Council provided the remaining $1,995,615.
The old bridge was closed in 2009 due to floodwaters for an extended period when two full bridge spans were destroyed. It was also closed due to flooding in March 2017.
Kempsey Shire Council Mayor Liz Campbell said the opening of the new bridge is a welcome sight for the community.
“It is such a relief to replace our longest wooden bridge, that has been knocked out twice in a decade by flood, with one made of concrete that is 1.8 metres higher,” Ms. Campbell said.