Two projects in the Cessnock local government area have been approved for funding in the latest round of the NSW Liberal National Government’s Fixing Country Roads program.
The Paynes Crossing Bridge replacement project has received $668,300 from the program (on top of the $667,700 it received from the Federal Government in September), while $50,000 will go towards the major culvert load capacity assessment from Mount Vincent to Millfield.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent was delighted with the funding announcement, particularly the additional boost to Paynes Crossing Bridge (which is jointly owned by Cessnock and Singleton councils).
“Large vehicles in excess of six tonnes are currently unable to access Paynes Crossing Bridge due to the severely deteriorated condition of the old timber bridge,” Cr Pynsent said.
“This much-needed funding will allow both councils to construct a new two lane bridge to replace the existing single lane, load limited timber structure.
“The new bridge will reopen freight movement in the area, removing a major detour of up to 70 kilometres which will ultimately benefit agricultural and tourism businesses across both local government areas.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald said this investment would significantly reduce costs to business and industry, while driving economic growth and improving the lives of people across the state.
“Economic growth in rural areas relies on agricultural commodities, industrial products and natural resources being able to move to market efficiently,” Mr MacDonald said.
The latest round of funding covered 67 projects – the biggest announcement under the program to date – and is part of a $500 million commitment to regional communities under the Restart NSW program.