The new Echuca-Moama Bridge, the largest transport infrastructure project in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, is set to open to traffic before the Easter holidays – months ahead of schedule.
The project builds a second Murray River crossing to connect Echuca in Victoria and Moama in New South Wales, currently connected by a single Murray River Bridge that was opened in 1878.
The new river crossing, set to open to locals on Sunday, 10 April 2022, connects the Murray Valley Highway in Echuca with the Cobb Highway in Moama.
The $323.7 million Echuca-Moama Bridge Project is jointly funded by the Australian, Victorian and NSW governments.
Started in late 2017, the project was built in four stages. Construction of new bridges over the Campaspe and Murray rivers constitutes stage three, while stage four is being carried out by Transport for NSW, upgrading the Moama intersections to connect the Cobb Highway to the new Murray River bridge.
McConnell Dowell was awarded the contract to build stage three in October 2019, and the project was originally expected to be delivered by late 2022.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project would deliver travel and economic benefits to the region.
“This is a once-in-a-generation project that will transform this region, keeping commuters moving and freight flowing to our ports, helping our nation get paid for the products we produce,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the new river crossing would be warmly welcomed by the local community in Echuca and Moama.
“The community has been waiting for decades for a second river crossing to better connect Echuca and Moama and we’re delighted to be able to deliver that for them months ahead of schedule,” Minister Allan said.
“I look forward to standing there with the community and celebrating the opening of a landmark project that will keep Echuca and Moama moving for decades to come.”
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said one of the project’s most important legacies would be creating a significant long-standing connection between NSW and Victoria.
“The new river crossing will provide an essential tourism link between Victoria and NSW, with the more than one million people who visit this popular tourist hot spot annually now able to commute between both towns far more easily,” Mr Farraway said.
“In addition to boosting tourism, the project has created more than 400 direct jobs and up to 1,100 indirect jobs, with many local businesses and suppliers employed to provide ongoing services.”
Workers have clocked more than 640,000 hours so far on stage three of the project alone. This includes more than 40,000 hours worked by apprentices, trainees and cadets, which exceeds the project’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee commitment by 25 per cent.
For more information about the project, visit here.