The new Clarence Bridge over the main western rail line at Chifley will open to traffic later today, improving safety for motorists travelling between Lithgow and Bell.
(min cost $8)
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Minister for Regional Transport and Roads and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the new bridge formed part of the Bells Line of Road improvement program.
"This project will deliver long-term road safety benefits, more reliable travel times and improve regional access and efficiency for motorists," Mr Toole said.
"Transport for NSW teams completed the bridge in six months, with work continuing to upgrade and widen Chifley Road."
The new bridge was built to the north of the existing bridge to provide a safer and wider crossing, with work to soon start on dismantling the old bridge, which was built in 1943.
Although the Clarence Road rail bridge was still safe to use, it is near the end of its lifespan.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) director for the Western Region, Alistair Lunn, said it was time the bridge was replaced.
"For the work, we're going to replace the bridge - it will be a stronger, wider bridge - and a lot of improvements for safety," he said.
"The guard rail on the bridge is very sub-standard and that will greatly be improved."
In May 2019 a contract was awarded to Quickway Constructions Pty Ltd to build a new bridge across the main western rail line on Chifley Road at Clarence.
Overhead power lines were relocated in February, the foundations of the bridge started in June, and bridge girders were installed in September 2019.
"The intersection of Chifley Road and the road leading into the Clarence Colliery will also be upgraded as part of the project," Mr Toole said.
The NSW Government provided $24 million for the project as part of its commitment to upgrading Bells Line of Road.
The new bridge was part of a $95 million investment.
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