Shire wel­comes Fed­eral funds to re­build bridges

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Sjanna San­dalova

Two bridges in the Shire of Wil­liams will re­ceive a $5 mil­lion makeover af­ter a prompt de­ci­sion by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

It comes as Mem­ber for O’Con­nor Rick Wilson and Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture Dar­ren Chester agreed the need to re­build both bridges and re­de­velop the road con­nect­ing them was a mat­ter of ur­gency.

Mr Chester ac­knowl­edged the struc­tures needed swift ac­tion at a meet­ing with Mr Wilson in Can­berra this week and agreed to al­lo­cate fund­ing through the Bridges Re­newal Pro­gram.

Mr Wilson said it was a great re­sult, not only for the Shire of Wil­liams but for the en­tire Great South­ern and Wheat­belt, given the bridges served as a key trans­port link to the metropoli­tan area.

“The heavy rain­fall and flood­ing in Fe­bru­ary caused a fair bit of dam­age to one of the bridges in par­tic­u­lar, which is 80 years old and sup­ported by props,” he said.

“An­other event like that could eas­ily have dam­aged the bridge be­yond re­pair and dis­rupted traf­fic on Al­bany High­way for an ex­tended pe­riod.

“We need to get this project com­pleted as soon as pos­si­ble and I’m grate­ful the min­is­ter has made it a pri­or­ity for the Gov­ern­ment.”

Wil­liams Shire pres­i­dent John Cowcher said he was thrilled the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment would in­vest $5 mil­lion in the re­newal of Bridges 24 and 25 in the Wil­liams town­site.

“This in­vest­ment in es­sen­tial pub­lic as­sets is crit­i­cal to the eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment of the Wheat­belt, Great South­ern and Gold­fields-Esper­ance re­gions,” he said. “The Shire of Wil­liams thanks the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment for its com­mit­ment and Rick Wilson for his sup­port of the project.

“It now looks for­ward to the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounc­ing its fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion and the project pro­ceed­ing.”

Two Shire of Wil­liams bridges will ben­e­fit from $5 mil­lion in Fed­eral fund­ing.

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