12 December 2023

New bridge at Gundaroo designed to lower flood threat for Yass Valley locals

| Sally Hopman
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Sign saying new bridge

The new Shingle Hill Way Bridge was officially opened near Gundaroo on Wednesday by the Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain. Photo: Supplied.

There’s been good news this week for residents of the Yass Valley who, during the recent floods, found themselves isolated when the waters rose.

The old Shingle Hill Way bridge near Gundaroo, has been replaced by a new $4.4 million 45-metre crossing with a 166-tonne load limit – and an increased lifespan.

Opening the bridge on Wednesday, (6 December) the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and the Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain, said the recent extreme weather events in the region and increased demand from residents of Gundaroo and Sutton, as well as traffic through to Bungendore and out to Gunning, meant the old bridge was “not fit-for-purpose”.

She said the Federal Government contributed $800,000 to the project under the Bridges Renewal Program, with the NSW Government investing $3.6 million under the Fixing Country Roads Program.

READ ALSO Disaster money available for flood-impacted regions across southern NSW

“This is a key road for local businesses in the winery and livestock sectors in particular – which is why this new 45-metre crossing will better connect locals and tourists, while reducing freight costs in the Yass Valley,” Ms McBain said.

“We know how important it is to support local governments deliver essential upgrades on our regional roads, which is why the Albanese Government is investing an additional $50 million towards our new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program – which will help more projects like this one get off the ground across the country.”

During construction, the project provided eight jobs and also included upgrades to about 800 metres of road approaching the bridge to improve horizontal alignment.

The new structure has improved flood resilience due to increased bridge height and is designed to better withstand being hit with debris, speeding up the ability to reopen the crossing after floods.

Woman and man standing near new bridge sign

Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain with Yass Valley Councillor Mike Reid at the opening of the new Gundaroo Bridge. Photo: Supplied.

The NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, Jenny Aitchison, who also attended the official opening, said with the growth of regional communities in NSW, it was crucial for their road networks to meet current and future demand.

“We want our regional roads to be resilient and reliable, which is why we’ll continue to support councils progress projects that create jobs and unlock economic growth and productivity,” she said.

“This upgrade has been welcomed by people in Gundaroo and surrounding communities and I know they are looking forward to the lasting benefits this will bring.”

Yass Valley Mayor Allan McGrath said the recent flooding in the region illustrated the importance of local bridges like Shingle Hill Way, as a community resource.

“Council’s focus moving forward is to continue replacing low-level crossings within the Yass Valley to improve road and traffic safety, increase flood immunity and to improve access for residents and emergency service vehicles during rain events,” he said.

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