Historic Monkerai Bridge re-opens to traffic

18 May 2020

The historic Monkerai Bridge over the Karuah River has re-opened to traffic after undergoing a major upgrade.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government funded the $14.5 million upgrade as part of its $528 million Bridges for the Bush program.

“Monkerai Bridge, the second oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW was closed in 2004, with regional traffic redirected to take alternate routes that added extra travel time.

“Through the Bridges for the Bush program, we’ve been able to invest in work to strengthen the bridge and re-open it to traffic.

“Projects like these improve connectivity in the bush, delivering more efficient journeys and providing more options for freight operators.

 Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said the iconic bridge had re-opened six months ahead of schedule and would increase road freight productivity in the region.

“The re-opening of the bridge after many years of closure will greatly improve connectivity for road users in our Upper Hunter electorate,” Mr Johnsen said.

“While the restoration has ensured the bridge is suitable for larger vehicles and will reduce future maintenance costs, it has also retained its heritage features.

“The Nationals in Government continue to deliver for rural and regional NSW, and this much anticipated re-opening of this local historic bridge is reminder of our commitment to Upper Hunter.” 

Monkerai Bridge is one of 26 bridges identified in the Timber Truss Bridge Conservation Strategy, which seeks to improve function while conserving heritage.

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