Early works on the Echuca-Moama Bridge project are kicking off, with test drilling for pylon placement now underway for the new bridge.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project would deliver a much-needed second Murray River crossing in the region, bringing New South Wales and Victoria closer together.

“This project is part of the Australian Government’s record $50 billion investment in infrastructure and is a critical piece of infrastructure for the region’s businesses and community,” Mr Chester said.

“We’re getting on with building the second Murray River crossing—creating new jobs, and making it easier and safer for locals to get where they need to go.”

Victorian State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the new bridge would carry 8,000 vehicles per day.

“We’re getting on with building the Echuca-Moama Bridge with preliminary geotechnical works underway this week creating 4,200 jobs for our local community,” Ms Symes said.

“We’re also planning for the future, with provision to have extra traffic lanes when required.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the geotechnical drilling involved boring at sites along the new route.

“Those locations will be where future bridge pylons will be built, so we can understand the different soil characteristics. Some of the test holes will be up to 30 metres deep, while a number of shallow pits will be excavated to test the soil properties the future road will be built on,” Mrs Pavey said.

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the project would help secure the future of the region’s industries and businesses.

“Our agricultural sector makes a huge contribution to domestic and overseas markets – we help feed the nation, and the world. To make the make the most of opportunities we need the best possible infrastructure and a second crossing over the Murray will help us do just that,” Mr Drum said.

“The second crossing will also help bring more visitors to the region, bolstering our tourism industry, putting more money into the cash registers of local businesses and supporting jobs in the region.”

Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley welcomed the start of works.

“With the route debate behind us, all the planning completed and funding now in place, to see work finally getting underway on the actual link really is an exciting time for our twin towns,” Ms Ley said.

The $280 million project is jointly funded by the Australian, Victorian and New South Wales governments.