Lynne Mowbray | The new Harwood Bridge reached a milestone on Wednesday last week, with the last of the 144 girders, being installed. Work on the new bridge is now 90 per-cent complete and to celebrate this milestone Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, took the opportunity to walk on the deck of the new bridge for the first time, last Friday (July 20). Despite gusty conditions on the day, the panoramic views from the deck of the new bridge were amazing. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said (in a media release) that since the first girder was lifted in November, the project team has installed all 144 girders, including transporting 44 of the girders across the bridge at night and lifting 48 from barges in the river. “Piling work was completed earlier this year and the bridge deck is expected to be completed later this year,” Mr McCormack said. Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said that once the bridge is opened to traffic, it would improve safety and efficiency on the Pacific Highway, removing the need to stop traffic to accommodate high vessels using the river. “The existing Harwood Bridge will become part of the local road network when the new bridge opens to traffic, providing an alternative route for residents and businesses,” Mr Hogan said. NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey said that after the deck was completed, the project team would continue working on the approaches to the bridge, laying asphalt, installing deck joints, rails and line marking. NSW Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the new bridge was an iconic piece of infrastructure and an engineering marvel. “I thank all those involved in the project for their efforts, which have led to the bridge being built ahead of schedule,” Mr Gulaptis said. The new bridge across the Clarence River at Harwood will open to traffic by 2020.