A sealed two-lane low-level crossing over the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing in WA is now open to all truckies for the dry season, ending months of disruption for road freight.
Flooding generated by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie in December 2022 and January 2023 caused significant damage to the sections of Great Northern Highway at Willare Crossing and Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley.
As a result, initially truckies heading into the Kimberley were forced to detour through the centre of Australia – an extra 7400km – and then at the start of May when the single-lane low-level crossing was installed, road trains had to break down and shuttle across.
“This reopens the Perth-Darwin freight link for the dry season, as well as supply to the east Kimberley so it’s massive for us,” said Cam Dumesny, CEO of the Western Roads Federation.
Dumesny hopes this fix will allow freight to flow freely again until at least November or December, when barges will then become a stop-gap measure. The new bridge is scheduled for completion by the end of 2024.
Although just what impact the wet season will have on the crossing is still a concern for the industry, Dumesny said you had to give Main Roads credit for getting this Band-Aid solution up and running so quickly.