The Echuca-Moama Bridge Project opened to traffic this morning, months ahead of schedule. The new Murray and Campaspe River bridges have been named in recognition of the region’s rich and proud Indigenous heritage.
After more than 140 years with a single Murray River crossing, drivers and pedestrians will now enjoy safer and easier trips between the border towns via a new river crossing connecting the Murray Valley Highway in Echuca, Victoria, with the Cobb Highway in Moama, NSW.
The new Murray River crossing will be known as Dhungala Bridge and the new Campaspe River crossing will be called Yakoa Bridge – with Dhungala and Yakoa the respective names in Yorta Yorta language for the Murray and Campaspe rivers.
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Moama Local Aboriginal Land Council and Cummeragunja Local Aboriginal Land Council collaborated to name the Dhungala Bridge with Yorta Yorta Nation endorsing the name for the new Campaspe River crossing.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the completion of the project was another example of the Coalition Government delivering for regional Australia.
“The Coalition Government is delivering the infrastructure that will make our nation as strong as possible as quickly as possible,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We put the money on the table for the new Echuca-Moama Bridge, and now we’ve delivered the biggest transport infrastructure project this region has ever seen.
“This will completely transform the movement of freight through this region, slashing costs for transport operators and moving goods and commodities to where they need to be, sooner.
“Projects like this will drive our economy into the future by supporting the industries that produce and sell the products that make our nation wealthier and stronger.”
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan said the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project would transform travel between the border towns.
“You only had to see the excitement of the packed crowd who walked across the new river crossing at yesterday’s special community event to understand this is a landmark project that’s going to dramatically improve everyday travel in this iconic region,” Minister Allan said.
“It’s expected 10,000 vehicles will use the new river crossing every day, reducing traffic on the existing Murray River bridge by about 40 per cent – a reduction that will considerably ease peak hour congestion for people travelling between Echuca and Moama.
“With the combined population of Echuca-Moama expected to grow by around 20 per cent by 2031, this second river crossing will cater for the immense growth across both towns, keeping them moving for decades to come.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway, said the new river crossing would take traffic out of the town centres of Echuca and Moama, giving local roads back to locals.
“The Project will reduce traffic by around 42 per cent in High Street through the historic Port area of Echuca, and by about 35 per cent in Meninya Street, Moama,” Minister Farraway said.
“It will also allow for easier and safer movement of large agricultural machinery and freight out of the town centres by supporting heavy and oversize vehicles that are restricted from using the existing Murray River bridge.
“This is an outstanding result for local drivers who will now enjoy safer and more reliable trips on their local streets.
“New Cobb Highway intersections with traffic lights at Perricoota Road and Meninya Street at Moama will also provide improved safety and efficiency for visitors, commuters and freight connecting to the new Murray River crossing.”
The history of the Murray and Campaspe rivers is intrinsically linked to the Aboriginal communities, so we’re delighted the two new bridges will be known by traditional Yorta Yorta names.
The story behind the new Murray River bridge’s name is told in the stunning Dreamtime-themed artwork, Dhungala Dreaming, created by Yorta Yorta elder Aunty Judy Atkinson, which was recently unveiled in Victoria Park, Echuca.
These are great examples of the spirit of collaboration that has existed between the Project and the Traditional Owners as we’ve worked hand in hand to ensure Echuca-Moama’s rich cultural heritage is respected and preserved.
Cyclists and pedestrians are also among the Project’s chief beneficiaries, with 4.9 kilometres of new safe and scenic shared user paths now open for their enjoyment alongside the new river crossing.
More than 400 direct jobs and up to 1,100 indirect jobs were created during the Project, with many local businesses and suppliers employed to provide ongoing services.
The Echuca- Moama Bridge has been delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria and construction partner McConnell Dowell with crews clocking more than 640,000 construction hours on Stage 3 of the Project alone.
The Echuca-Moama Bridge Project is jointly funded by the Australian, Victorian and NSW governments.
Reviewed 11 April 2022