Agribusiness boost from new Bridge

Coastal Works recently completed work to replace an ageing timber bridge on Castledoyle Road, on the eastern outskirts of Armidale.

The information below is from a media release on the Armidale Regional Council website.

December 18th 2020. An important agribusiness precinct in the Armidale region has been boosted by a new bridge officially opened on Castledoyle Road today.

Industry leaders joined Council representatives and the Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, to celebrate the opening of the Shingle Hut Creek Bridge, which was funded through a $984,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Programme Extension.

The $700,000 Council project replaced an aging timber bridge with a wider concrete structure to improve traffic safety and remove the need for a weight limit on the creek crossing, assisting vehicle access to major agribusiness in the Castle Doyle area.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley said Castle Doyle precinct is important for agribusiness in the region, including a major strawberry plant nursery and medicinal cannabis production.

“The precinct offers fantastic potential for further expansion of agribusiness and job creation and the improved access provided by this bridge can only help to realise that potential,” Councillor Tiley said.

“At the same time, it improves road safety for all road users.”

Mr Tiley said the Drought Communities Programme grant is just one example of the Federal Government’s valuable assistance to our region as we bounce back from the effects of drought, bushfires and pandemic during the past 18 months.

“Barnaby’s consistent advocacy and lobbying has ensured we have benefitted greatly from the Federal Government’s economic recovery initiatives.”

Mr Joyce told today’s opening: “As we take the standard of infrastructure ahead, we take the standard of living and the economy ahead with us.

“This will deliver a better return through the farm gate and means local people can get to their destination with greater ease and safety.”

A representative of Red Jewel Strawberries, Ian Mungall, said the upgraded bridge has been a welcome improvement for vehicle movements to and from their Castle Doyle operation.