Clarence Valley motorists will soon be able to travel across the upgraded Briner Bridge with work to widen the structure to two lanes and subsequently increase its load capacity nearing completion.
Built in 1908, the dare type timber truss bridge is a significant landmark which crosses the Upper Coldtream River and links the communities of Ulmarra and Tucabia.
The $15.9 million upgrade will enable Briner Bridge, which has strong associations with the growth in the road network and boom in economic activity in the region during the early 1900’s, to accommodate the demands of modern day traffic.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the historic bridge is an important local structure and the NSW Government invested in the work to ensure it remains fit for purpose for generations to come while preserving its heritage features through the Bridges for the Bush program.
“The project will deliver more efficient and reliable journeys with the new bridge’s capacity increased from 33 tonnes to 42.5 tonnes and widening the bridge deck from 4.5m, to 5.4m between barriers to improve traffic flow on Coldstream Terrace,” he said.
“Projects like this show we’re working hard to build a safer, stronger regional NSW.”
Member for Clarence and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and Infrastructure Chris Gulaptis said that on top of benefiting local communities that rely on Briner Bridge, the upgrade also helped sustain 20 full-time jobs and provided employment for 12 local suppliers while the work was carried out.
“Upgrading this 113-year-old structure has been a massive effort for the project team, replacing the dare truss and the approach spans including new land-based piles that support its 113-metre length,” he said.
“The Transport for NSW project team is continuing work on site and one of the first jobs they’ll be doing will be to dismantle the temporary ‘bridge-in-a-box’, which the community has been using while this essential restoration work was under way.
“This temporary bridge structure will be removed before the crew carries out finishing work for Briner Bridge, including installing interpretive signage to describe the bridge’s history for locals and tourists.”
Last week, students from Tucabia and Ulmarra primary schools celebrated the upgraded bridge project alongside Mr Gulaptis and representatives from Transport NSW.