"THE white ants are in to it and it's well past its use-by-date."
That's how federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee describes a timber bridge between Tarana and Bathurst that will be replaced in a project worth more than $1 million.
Mr Gee made the announcement the Australian Government will contribute more than $500,000 to construct the new bridge over Stony Creek on Tarana Road with mayor Bobby Bourke recently.
The $1,046,850 project will be jointly funded by the Australian Government (under round five of the Bridges Renewal Program) and Bathurst Regional Council.
"This bridge replacement will significantly improve road safety and provide a smoother drive to Tarana, which is great news for local residents," Mr Gee said.
"This bridge upgrade will also improve the journey for visitors travelling to the historic village of Tarana, or attending the fantastic local Farmers' Markets each month.
"The existing bridge is made of timber in the 1800s. The white ants are in to it and it's well past its use-by-date.
"I am proud the Australian Government has been able to work together with Bathurst Regional Council to get this important road upgrade underway."
Survey work for the construction project has been completed and designs for the new bridge are to be drawn up soon, according to Mr Gee. The project will then go to tender.
Cr Bourke said the funding is a welcome boost and will greatly assist with council's infrastructure backlog.
"Our regional roads are incredibly important and I am appreciative of the Federal Government investing in improvements to the safety of our community on our roads," he said.
"The contribution is part of the Bridges Renewal Program which helps fund the upgrade and replacement of bridges to enhance access for communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access."
The Australian Government says it is providing $640 million to the Bridges Renewal Program from 2015-16 to 2022-23, with an ongoing commitment of $85 million each year following.
The Tarana Farmers' Market, featuring locally grown or made produce, is held on the fourth Sunday of each month from 9am to 1pm.
The market for Sunday, January 24, however, will be held from 5pm to 8pm as a twilight event.