GREAT Lakes council will benefit from a state government loan worth $18 million that will be used to revitalise the area's ailing roads and replace run-down wooden bridges.
The offering to the council is designed to fund Great Lakes infrastructure backlog and is part of a $1 billion state-wide Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.
It will enable work on much-needed road and bridge upgrades which according to the state member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead languished for more than 16 years under the previous state Labor government.
"I am delighted the NSW Government can assist our community to finally begin work on this vital project, which was ignored under Labor," Mr Bromhead said.
About 12 wooden bridges, including the 12 Mile Creek Bridge at Stroud, will be replaced in favour of new concrete spans. Progressive works across a three-year period will take place on numerous Great Lakes roads including Marine Drive and Myall Street Singing Bridge Tea Gardens, and Tuloa Ave Hawks Nest. Four roads, Stroud Street, Crawford Street, Markwell Road and Bombah Point Road will be upgraded in Bulahdelah. The council will be required to pay the loan back at an interest rate of four per cent over the next 10 years. Great Lakes council's general manager Glenn Handford said prior to the $18 million injection, the council was financially struggling to keep pace with the upgrades needed. Director of engineering at Great Lakes Council Ron Hartley said the money will hopefully clear about decade of work in under three years.
"The grant will enable up to ten years of bridge works to be brought forward to three years as well as a number of road rehabilitation projects to be fast tracked," he said.
The council confirmed that bridge work at Stroud, Stroud Road, Booral, Bulahdelah, Upper Myall, will all be completed under three years however some upgrades will not start until 2015.