A NEW era of road freight travelling between Sydney and Brisbane has arrived, with the opening of a bridge at Wardell allowing B-Double higher mass limit vehicles to travel directly between the two cities along the Pacific Highway for the first time.

Minister for regional transport and roads Paul Toole said the opening of the new bridge across the Richmond River means the last remaining load-restricted bridge for HML vehicles on the Pacific Highway has been bypassed, transforming the way freight is moved along one of Australia’s busiest road corridors.

“We are on the home stretch of duplicating the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border – a $15bn multi-generational project that will deliver safer, smoother journeys right up and down the coast,” Mr Toole said.

“Motorists are already saving more than two hours driving that section, and time savings will continue to grow as we hit the finish line later this year.

“This is a huge win for the freight industry. Productivity gains like this don’t come along every day.”

Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said since it opened in September, the new bridge has allowed the trucks moving the most freight on our highways to carry 15% more on this key corridor.

“This means less vehicles are needed to carry the same amount of freight, which improves productivity, reduces transportation costs and means less trucks on the road,” Mr Franklin said.

On completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade at the end of the year, 30-metre Performance Based Standard Level 2B heavy vehicles will be able to travel along the route, bringing significant productivity and safety benefits for the community and industry.