B-TRIPLES and road trains could become commonplace enroute to Corowa Saleyards if essential bridge upgrades are approved.
Corowa mayor Fred Longmire said the council would seek state government cash to upgrade bridges over Wangamong Creek on the Riverina Highway and Hopefield Road.
The roads are key stock routes into Corowa and improvements to those roads could make the town’s beleaguered saleyards more appealing to farmers.
The yards themselves have been repeatedly overlooked for funding for an upgrade.
The shire will apply for funding to assess the suitability of upgrades to both bridges as part of the NSW government’s “fixing country roads — local roads and bridges” program.
Cr Longmire said a study had been completed by NSW Roads and Maritime Services about 18 months ago, referring to the opportunity for B-triples in the region.
“The curtailing factor is the railway crossing and bridge on the Riverina Highway,” he said.
“Unless that’s made bigger and better, it doesn’t allow the opportunity for that to happen.”
It was a similar situation on Hopefield Road, he said, where upgrades in recent times had improved the road, but the bridge was still unable to cope with heavier vehicles.
Albury MP Greg Aplin said the fixing country roads program provided $37.5 million for regional and rural NSW councils to share for road projects, particularly those aimed at “connecting our towns and unlocking our economic potential”.
“It targets roads and bridges in local communities to make sure our transport and freight network supports regional producers, growers and business,” he said.
He encouraged councils in his Albury electorate to apply.
Cr Longmire said by that definition, he was “a bit encouraged” on Corowa’s prospects for funding.
“We’d fit right in like a glove,” he said.
Greater Hume mayor Heather Wilton said her council would also seek funding — to improve Jingellic Road at Yararra Gap, a “quite dangerous, winding, steep road”.
Mrs Wilton said Mr Aplin had seen the road and agreed it was in need of work.
“We’ve got some very well-developed plans and are pretty well ready to go as soon as we get some money,” she said.
The government said projects with well-advanced planning and environmental approvals would get priority in the hope construction could start next year.
Council submissions close on August 4.