ORIGINALLY completed in 1878, the Echuca-Moama Bridge has been the sole carrier of cargo and pedestrians across the Murray River in the area for nearly 150 years, connecting Victoria and New South Wales.
As the city of Echuca-Moama expands, its infrastructure must grow too. Following many years of planning and community engagement, the construction on a vital second crossing over the Murray River will soon commence, following the awarding of the contract to McConnell Dowell Constructors (Australia) Pty Ltd.
The $323.7 million dollar project is the largest infrastructure project in north-east Victoria and is jointly funded by the Federal, Victorian and New South Wales governments.
The new bridge will be north-west of the current bridge, connecting Warren Street on the Echuca side via newly constructed Crofton Street, over the Campaspe and Murray Rivers, via Meninya Street to the Cobb Highway in Moama.
As part of the upgrade, a new roundabout at the Warren Street and Murray Valley Highway intersection has already been completed, with the Warren Street upgrade almost complete ahead of re-opening to traffic at the end of the year.
Following last week’s announcement of the contactor, stage three of the build is set to commence in early 2020 and will involve the construction of the two bridges crossing the Campaspe and Murray Rivers.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said, “The new bridge will have a single lane in each direction, meeting traffic demands for at least 30 years – but beyond that, the design will allow for additional lanes to be added in the future.
“The new crossing for the Campaspe and Murray Rivers will also provide economic and travel benefits right across the region and is expected to provide direct employment for up to 240 people.”
The Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allen said once complete, the new project will boost the cross-border economy for Echuca and Moama locals with a reliable second crossing.
“The new bridge will give drivers an alternative to the existing bridge, which transports around 25,000 vehicles each day – including 1,500 trucks and heavy vehicles, helping to improve construction and improve industry productivity,” Ms Allen said.
“The second crossing is expected to reduce this figure by 40 percent, which means around 10,000 less vehicles each day are driving through local roads over the coming years.”