90% COMPLETE: Highway's biggest bridge ahead of schedule
THE last of 144 girders was positioned into place late Wednesday afternoon, signalling 90% completion of the new Harwood Bridge project - two days ahead of schedule.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said it was a significant milestone for the 1.5 kilometre, 35-span bridge - the longest of the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
"Since the first girder was lifted in November, the project team has installed all 144 girders (weighing 168 tonnes), including transporting 44 of the girders across the bridge at night and lifting 48 from barges in the river," Mr McCormack said.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the existing Harwood Bridge would become part of the local road network when the new bridge opened to traffic, providing an alternative route for residents and businesses.
"Once the new bridge is open to traffic, it will improve safety and remove the need for traffic to be stopped to accommodate high vessels using the river," Mr Hogan said.