A SMALL flotilla of boats led by the historic motor launch Egeria, with Tasmanian Governor Peter Underwood on board, passed under the Bridgewater Bridge for the first time in four years yesterday, to mark the completion of the $14 million upgrade works and the restoration of the bridge to full operational status.
Federal Member for Lyons, Dick Adams MHR, joined the Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, David O’Byrne MHA, at the bridge re-opening ceremony, and said the upgrade was a significant milestone.
“Bridgewater Bridge is the largest surviving lift span bridge in Australia, and the only bridge of its type in Tasmania,” Mr Adams said. “The upgrade has given this local icon a new lease of life, allowing it to operate at full functionality for at least the next 15 years. The work has ensured that the bridge will remain functional while we continue planning for the possible future construction of a new bridge.”
As well as repairs to the bridge and lifting mechanism, the project included work to widen lanes and install a new roundabout at the nearby Lyell Highway junction. Mr O’Byrne, aid the refurbishment project was equally important for both road and river traffic. “As well as restoring access to New Norfolk for recreational boats and ferries, the upgrade has greatly improved road safety and enhanced traffic efficiency for motorists,” he said.