The New Fitzroy River Bridge in northern WA – touted to be about six times stronger than its predecessor – is starting to take shape.
The bridge will be almost 100 metres longer than the old bridge and will include two lanes and a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.
The first sections of deck for the bridge are on track to be installed next month.
Using an innovative engineering method, a launch pad is currently being assembled on the western side of the river from which the bridge deck will be moved into place to connect with the opposite side of the river.
Launching the bridge deck in increments will mean construction should not be affected by rising water levels during the next wet season – so the bridge can be completed even if the river is flowing.
“Construction of the New Fitzroy River Bridge continues to make excellent progress, despite unseasonal heavy rainfall in late June, which required both the project’s construction causeway and the temporary crossings to close,” said WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti.
“From early next month, the community will start to see the segments of the new bridge taking shape, just nine months after the devastation of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie. This is an outstanding outcome and I thank all those involved in our efforts to reconnect the Kimberley.”
Saffioti says the project is well on track to be completed within the next 12 months. “But we’re doing everything we can to have traffic moving across the new bridge as soon as possible,” she added.
Since early June, work has been continuing to drive 34 piles into the riverbed to support the new bridge. Pile caps are currently being constructed on top of each set of piles to enable the columns to be put into place. Installation of the columns will commence progressively after the completion of the respective pile-caps.
Reconstruction works will also include the adjoining sections of the Great Northern Highway, which were severely eroded by flooding associated with Ex Tropical Cyclone Ellie.