Work has commenced this week on what will become Australia's longest bridge, forming part of the Kempsey bypass and the ongoing upgrade and duplication of the Pacific Highway.
NSW Minister for Infrastructure and Acting Premier Andrew Stoner said the structure will eventually span the Macleay River and the floodplain to the south.
“The design also calls for 93 support piers, including eight in the river, spaced 34 metres apart, with the deck of the bridge to be formed using 941 concrete beams - or "super-T" girders - each weighing 65 tonnes,” Mr Stoner said.
When complete, the new bridge will better the length of Brisbane's one year-old Ted Smout Memorial Bridge by about half a kilometre.
"Completion of the entire bypass in mid-2013 - twelve months ahead of schedule - will take 2000 trucks a day off the local streets of Kempsey as well as provide safer, quicker driving conditions for all users of this section of highway," Senator Matt Thistlethwaite said.
Duplication of the Pacific Highway is now the country's largest road project. The Kempsey Bypass itself will be a 14.5 kilometre four-lane divided road to the east of the existing Pacific Highway.