Twice as good for business

The duplication of the Bridge will make it safer and more reliable for everyone on what is Australia's number one transport route

Alan McMahon
MOVING FORWARD: Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow at the Joy Baluch Bridge.

MOVING FORWARD: Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow at the Joy Baluch Bridge.

To many people, the duplication of an existing two-lane bridge may not seem a big deal but for business owners in Port Augusta, the doubling in capacity of the Joy Baluch AM Bridge is a godsend.

Max Cranes Project Manager Virginia Lloyd said the duplication, funded by the federal government's $110 billion Building Our Future investment, would deliver a multitude of benefits.

"The project has boosted the local economy as construction workers have moved to the town to work on the duplication," she said.

"The extra spending power those workers have brought with them has really helped the local economy."

Crossroads Ecomotel owner Alan McMahon says the bridge is a major transport pinch-point between south-eastern Australia and the country's west and north.

"The duplication of the Bridge will make it safer and more reliable for everyone on what is Australia's number one transport route," he said.

"The improved traffic flows will benefit local businesses, especially service providers and tourism.

"It will improve local and national transport flows and remove a major bottleneck for freight and other vehicles."

Ms Lloyd says the benefits will be long-term and not limited to business owners.

"Having the extra stand-alone bridge means that any road accidents won't cut access between Port Augusta and the west of the state, including the Eyre Peninsula," she said.

"It also means emergency vehicles will be able to get to and from accidents a lot quicker by being able to transit across the bridge a lot faster.

"It will make it easier and safer for heavy vehicles heading to the west and north of the state, making it a shorter commute for them and a more efficient, and safer route.

"All us locals will feel a lot safer once the new section is finished." Traffic on the existing bridge is restricted to 40kmh for safety reasons including the well-being of pedestrians.