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Helping Council Apply for Bridge Funding

Paddy’s Flat Road in the Tenterfield Shire Council area is an important freight transport route running 60kms from the Bruxner Highway at its southern end, to the Tooloom Road at its northern end.  The road provides transport and passenger vehicle access to Tenterfield, Casino, the North Coast and south east Qld.

There are a number of important industries along the route including a large blueberry farm, avocado growers, cattle producers and tourism businesses. Numerous farm inputs also must travel along the road. There is a significant NSW Forestry Corporation and private forestry resource (26,300 hectares) which currently cannot be harvested or thinned due to load limits on two key bridges on Paddy’s Flat Road – one 3kms from the intersection with the Tooloom road, and one 3kms from the intersection of the Bruxner Highway. Council have upgraded other key bridges along the road and these two remaining bridges now remain a major impediment to utilising the forestry assets, and allowing the use of larger trucks to improve the freight efficiency task for other businesses as well tourist buses bringing school students from Qld to the Clarence camping facility which must travel an additional 2 hours.

Council are applying for around $780,000 of government funding under the Australian Government’s to replace both bridges, raising the load limit such that B-double and semi-trailer trucks can operate. This will dramatically improve the efficiency of both the inward and outward freight tasks and open up access to a stranded forestry resource which presently cannot be managed properly or harvested as thinning and clearfall products cannot be transported out.

Our team are assisting council with the funding applications by conducting the Benefit-Cost Analysis economic modelling for the two bridge projects. Increasingly, councils are being asked to provide economic evidence that their road upgrades make sound economic sense and Benefit-Cost Analysis is the standard method of providing this evidence.

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