News, Road upgrades, Western Australia

New Fitzroy River Bridge taking shape

With all seven of its piers now in place, the installation of the new Fitzroy River Bridge deck has begun, with construction to continue through the upcoming wet season.

The bridge deck is being launched span by span with a 36-metre segments being positioned every eight days until it’s all complete.

“I’m pleased to see construction on this vital piece of infrastructure is on track as it will re-connect this remote part of the country with national supply chains,” Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King.

“This will be vital during the upcoming wet seasons the area is all too used to.”

A launchpad is located on the western side of the river, on to which the deck components are being assembled, before being launched in stages.

Launching the bridge deck from this side of the river means construction should not be affected by rising water levels.

The artwork on the nose that guides the bridge deck onto the piers was produced by local students.

WA Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti explained, “This project has now reached the stage where critical substructure works in the river channel are now complete, which will significantly minimise the impact of rising river levels and allow the project to continue during the wet season.

“For a project of this magnitude, the progress being made is incredible and I want to thank everyone involved, particularly those from the Fitzroy Valley who are working to deliver this project for their community.”

The bridge, a vital freight link, is being completely rebuilt following flood damage associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.

It’s now been nine months since the devastation caused by the Kimberley floods, and crews have been on site for the past five months working to reconnect this road link.

It’s being funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The seven steel and concrete piers provide structural support for the deck.

Pier construction, using prefabricated concrete shells, was completed in 49 days – an average of one pier every seven days.

Reconstruction works will also include repairs to the adjoining sections of the Great Northern Highway, which were severely eroded by flooding.

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