A SECOND Jewry Street bridge has been promised for Tamworth, if the Coalition government is re-elected.
Deputy Prime Minister and New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the $3.5m bridge would be covered by the Infrastructure Investment Fund and ease the bottleneck at one of the region’s busiest intersections.
Mr Joyce said he personally advocated for the project’s funding.
“This is part of our real plan for the growth of Tamworth and the Peel Valley,” Mr Joyce said.
“This shows quite clearly that when you get to the table and use your diligence over many years in parliament to get to the centre of government, you get real delivery for the people you’re representing.”
Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray said before the “fantastic news”, council was going to fund the entire project.
“That would have been $3.5 million that council wouldn’t have to invest in other priorities if this commitment is delivered,” Cr Murray said.
The congestion around the bridge has been caused by the expansion of the Taminda Industrial Estate, the ongoing growth of new housing projects at Hills Plain, Moore Creek and Daruka, school expansions and new business to the north of Tamworth.
Cr Murray said the intersection was “one of the busiest in the north west”.
“Thousands of people drive across the bridge every morning and afternoon, and we often have gridlock with traffic coming in from the industrial area and the sporting field on the western side of the river,” he said.
One bridge will carry westbound traffic and the second will carry eastbound traffic, while the Manilla Rd roundabout at the bridge’s intersection will be replaced with traffic lights.
Cr Murray said construction was due to start before the end of 2017.
“We’ve been working on the design and modelling with the Roads and Maritime Service for a few years now, so the design is well advanced and on council’s short-term works,” he said.
“We’ve already started the geo-technical work – some people may have noticed the boring machine in there doing test drilling.”