Grant to finally replace decrepit Minneys Bridge in Kyogle
KYOGLE Council's decrepit Minneys Bridge south of Tabulam will be replaced thanks to a one-off Commonwealth grant.
The closed single-lane wooden truss bridge will be replaced with a two-lane concrete structure.
The news comes as a huge relief for residents who had to navigate a creek crossing or take a 45-minute detour ever since the bridge closed in February 2014.
Page MP Kevin Hogan hailed it as a "great outcome" for the community and thanked Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss for his assistance.
"We worked together to find a solution to this local problem and I'm very proud to have delivered on it," Mr Hogan said.
Mr Hogan also hailed Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland's resolve over the bridge issue.
Cr Mulholland and the council's manager of infrastructure Jeff Breen had visited Canberra after the council was unsuccessful under the first round of the $300 million Bridges Renewal Program.
The seeds for today's announcement were planted there during an audience with Mr Truss - as well as a promise for the bridges program criteria to be changed to give Kyogle a better chance next time.
Cr Mulholland said she was "delighted" with the outcome.
"If we couldn't get funding for that bridge, we were in deep trouble. We're very grateful for Kevin going in to bat for us, and grateful for the Deputy PM for going through a special process to get the funding for us," she said.
It's not the end of the story for Kyogle's bridges - with 203 aging timber bridges, it has a "very long" list that need work.
The second round of the Bridges Renewal Program will kick off July 1 with Kyogle hoping it will this time attract enough funding to deal with those needing urgent repairs.