Location for a new bridge still pending

DUPLICATE BRIDGE: NSW premier Mike Baird, Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Dubbo MP Troy Grant at the announcement of a second bridge. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUPLICATE BRIDGE: NSW premier Mike Baird, Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Dubbo MP Troy Grant at the announcement of a second bridge. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The location for the duplicate LH Ford bridge is expected to be announced in the coming months.

In 2015, NSW Premier Mike Baird promised $50 million to duplicate the LH Ford Bridge and increase Dubbo’s traffic flow, especially in times of flood.

A spokesperson for Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) said they were currently investigating the shortlisted options for the bridge, with an announcement on the preferred option due “in the first half of this year”.

There are six corridor options which have made the shortlist: Purvis Lane corridor, River Street corridor, Myall Street corridor, Baird Street corridor, Tamworth Street corridor, or a crossing next to the existing LH Ford Bridge.

“Community feedback was sought on the six corridor options between 16 May and 13 June last year. Roads and Maritime Services staff spoke to more than 650 residents at a number of drop in and briefing sessions and almost 900 surveys were returned,” the spokesperson said.

“Using feedback from the community and traffic, environment and heritage studies, a decision will be made on a location for the new bridge.”

About $1 million will be spent to make a decision on the location of the new Dubbo bridge.

After a preferred location in chosen, the concept design and environmental assessment are expected to be completed by the end of next year, the spokesperson said.

During times of flood the Emile Serisier Bridge becomes unusable, restricting access across the river to two lanes of traffic.

“A new bridge is planned to cross the Macquarie River in Dubbo to improve freight efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and provide an alternative route for motorists during flooding events and maintenance work on existing bridges,” the RMS spokesperson said.

A study commissioned by Dubbo Regional Council in 2013 found a duplication of the LH Ford Bridge would prevent about $62 million in future costs due to flooding. The investment was also projected to yield a total net improvement in economic activity of $162 million.

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