Feds, Council announce $1.1 million for better bridge at Seven Sisters

The closed Seven Sisters Bridge will be replaced.

Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack visited Forbes on Friday to announce $550,000 in federal funding towards a new $1.1 million structure over the Goobang Creek on Bedgerabong Road.

That funding is to be matched by Forbes Shire Council in its next budget, with plans to start work this year.

The steel truss, single lane bridge between Warroo and Yarrabandai has been closed for about four months due to structural defects.

Currently drivers are using an unsealed detour through the creek bed which is dry, but in wet weather the bypass would become impassable.

"If it rains, and goodness knows we hope it does soon, that then will also be closed and that will cut people off," Mr McCormack said.

Deputy Mayor Jenny Webb said the funding announcement was very welcome.

Even before the bridge's closure, she explained, the width and weight limit had restricted transport for farmers in the area.

Mr McCormack said the new bridge would have double the freight capacity - increased from a 24 tonne load limit - of the original bridge.

"It will enable those heavy trucks, farmers to be able to cart their goods in a far more efficient manner," Mr McComack said.

"I am pleased to deliver this important investment for the community which will improve safety and productivity for the local agricultural industry."

Mr McCormack said the federal funding came from the Bridges Renewal Program grant.

"The Bridges Renewal Program provides up to 50 per cent of the cost of repairing or replacing old and unsafe local bridges, which is a fantastic win for local communities," Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack is The Nationals candidate for the federal seat of Riverina, more on three others who have indicated their intention to stand on page 2. 

He said the Liberals and Nationals in Government have committed $640 million for vital bridgeworks between 2015-16 to 2022-23, with an ongoing commitment of $85 million each year following.

He added the current strong economy enabled the program as well as an increase in Roads to Recovery.