Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said today marks the 50 year anniversary of the pre-stressed concrete bridge over Peel River in Tamworth, a central feature of the city’s infrastructure history. 

“On this day 50 years ago the bridge was officially opened and today it is still serving the community as the major link between the city’s east and west,” Mr Anderson said.

“The bridge forms part of the Oxley Highway and is also used by motorists accessing the New England Highway.

“Around 1882 a timber and wrought iron bridge was built to cross the Peel River and by the early 1960s a new bridge was required to keep up with Tamworth’s growth and the increase in heavy vehicle use.

“The Department of Main Roads deemed the old bridge inappropriate for widening and so a new bridge was built next to it at a cost of £208,000 using precast concrete bridge units and a reinforced concrete deck.

“At the time it was estimated the bridge was one of the busiest in regional NSW.

“The bridge was opened on 14 August 1965 by then Minister for Highways Philip Henry Morton and the Deputy Mayor of Tamworth Alderman N McKellar.

“The official ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by hundreds of residents and a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the occasion. This remains on the structure today.”

Mr Anderson said it was important to recognise the 50 year anniversary of the structure.

“Traffic volume counts show on average the bridge is used by 13,300 vehicles daily with heavy vehicles accounting for 2.5 per cent of movements.

“The Peel River Bridge was built to provide a vital link in the state’s road system and has clearly stood the test of time” Mr Anderson concluded.

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