The Richmond River Bridge at Wardell has been opened allowing B-Double Higher Mass Limit vehicles to travel directly between Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway for the first time.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the opening of the new bridge across the Richmond River means the last remaining load-restricted bridge for HML vehicles on the Pacific Highway has been bypassed, transforming the way freight is moved along one of Australia’s busiest road corridors.
“We are on the home stretch of duplicating the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border – a $15 billion multi-generational project that will deliver safer, smoother journeys right up and down the coast,” Toole said.
“Motorists are already saving more than two hours driving that section, and time savings will continue to grow as we hit the finish line later this year.
He said this project is a huge win for the freight industry.
Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said since it opened in September, the new bridge has allowed the trucks moving the most freight to carry 15 per cent more on this key corridor.
On completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade at the end of the year, 30-metre Performance Based Standard Level 2B heavy vehicles will be able to travel along the route, bringing significant productivity and safety benefits for the community and industry.