The Batemans Bay bridge project is tipped to deliver hundreds of jobs to the Far South Coast when major construction starts in 2019.
Bega MP Andrew Constance on Friday, May 18 announced John Holland Group as the preferred contractor to build the new Clyde River crossing, with major work due to begin in February 2019.
Mr Constance said the announcement of the preferred builder was a historic occasion for the region.
“It’s the biggest infrastructure build in the region’s history,” Mr Constance told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.
“It will generate quite literally hundreds of jobs and we’re going to see a change in how our traffic congestion is managed in what is a growing community on the Far South Coast.
“To know John Holland has been successful makes me very pleased.”
John Holland Group bid director Peter Hodge said the project was expected to offer opportunities for Eurobodalla residents in construction.
“From starting building on the site, all the way through to the demolition of the old bridge, there will be plenty of activity and plenty of opportunity for people to get involved, not only on the foreshore, but as part of the construction as well,” Mr Hodge said.
“John Holland are very pleased to be partnered with (Roads and Maritime Services) and the Minister in being able to deliver this iconic structure for the Batemans Bay community.”
Mr Constance expected the project to deliver an economic boost to the region and provide jobs for young people.
“One thing John Holland has just touched on is the importance of opportunities for our local people to be involved in the build and up-skill as part of the project,” he said.
We’re about keeping young people locally and as part of this, we’re very keen to see those job opportunities arise for young people.Andrew Constance
“We’re about keeping young people locally and as part of this, we’re very keen to see those job opportunities arise for young people.”
Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes said the new bridge would “supercharge” Batemans Bay as a gateway to the Far South Coast and expressed her excitement at the announcement.
“If you look at the track record John Holland has in delivering infrastructure projects throughout the state, the confidence we can have … for our whole area is amazing,” Cr Innes said.
“People should start getting a little bit excited about what that means.
“Not only are we going to have a vital piece of infrastructure, but we’re also going to be looking at ways to reconnect with our foreshore.”
The announcement follows the release of the RMS Submissions Report this week in response to stakeholder feedback sessions in November 2017.
Not only are we going to have a vital piece of infrastructure, but we’re also going to be looking at ways to reconnect with our foreshoreLiz Innes
The report outlines proposed changes to the bridge design, including added slip lanes at the intersection of the Princes and Kings Highways to help relieve traffic congestion.
RMS Project Manager Paul Vecovski said the report considered 80 submissions.
“Some of the key things we’ve been able to address as a result of that consultation is that we’re introducing some additional slip lanes at the Kings and Princes Hwy intersection,” Mr Vecovski said.
“We’ve clarified that we are going to improve the access on and off the bridge with stairs on either side, as well as all access ramps for (people) with prams, bikes and scooters.
“We’ve taken that feedback on board.”
The bridge design is expected to be finalised in the coming months.