APPROVED: Chris Gulaptis and Duncan Gay (right) congratulate approved tenderers for the Harwood bridge project, Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture.
APPROVED: Chris Gulaptis and Duncan Gay (right) congratulate approved tenderers for the Harwood bridge project, Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture. Clair Morton

Tenderer announced for new Harwood bridge

UPDATE: NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said a new bridge would remove a notorious traffic hotspot and would be future proofed to meet increased traffic demand.

It was announced today that Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture is the preferred tenderer to design and build the proposed new bridge at Harwood as part of the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.

"The Harwood Bridge is currently lifted around five times a week to allow boating vessels to pass underneath, creating lengthy traffic hold ups," Mr Gay said.

"The new bridge will have a significant 30 metre clearance above the Clarence River - about the same height as the top of the lift span on the current bridge - removing the need for bridge lifts and allowing a continuous free flowing highway along this busy stretch of road.

"The new bridge will also be widened from two to four lanes ensuring the bridge is capable of withstanding future traffic demand."

UPDATE, 12PM: THE Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade reached a major milestone today with Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture announced as the preferred tenderer to design and build a new bridge at Harwood.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the new bridge will be the longest bridge of the 155km section of highway.

"The new 1.5 kilometre bridge will be built 70 metres downstream of the existing bridge and is the longest of more than 100 bridges to be built as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade," Mr Chester said.

Opening of the Harwood Bridge for a yacht. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Opening of the Harwood Bridge for a yacht. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

EARLIER: FEDERAL Member for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed today's announcement of the preferred tenderer  to build the longest bridge between Woolgoolga and Ballina  saying it would create about 200 jobs.

The major development in the construction of the second Clarence River crossing at Harwood is a major milestone in meeting the deadline of completing the duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2020.

"The Pacific Highway upgrade has been the biggest boon for jobs in our community in decades," Mr Hogan said.

"The construction of the bridge will contribute around 200 jobs to the 2500 direct and 4500 indirect jobs being created on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the upgrade.

"We know about 35 per cent of local workers are picking up jobs on other sections of the upgrade.

"With a large number of people working on various sections of the upgrade for as many as seven to eight years, construction of the Harwood Bridge will provide yet another continued source of employment.

"The communities on the North Coast have long dreamed about the duplication of the Pacific Highway, and now it is quickly becoming a reality.

"We now have about 38km of the 155km section built, with an additional 53km being prepared for major work."

The official announcement will be made at 10.30am. More details to come.

Image sourced from NSW Roads and Maritime Service Pacific Highway Upgrade website https://www.collaborativemap.com/woolgoolgatoballina/
Image sourced from NSW Roads and Maritime Service Pacific Highway Upgrade website https://www.collaborativemap.com/woolgoolgatoballina/ Bill North


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