Mains Roads WA confirms opening date for Fitzroy River Bridge

Christmas has come early for road transport operators in WA with the announcement from Main Roads WA that the new and improved Fitzroy River Bridge will reopen to all traffic on December 10.

That’s less than a year after the old structure was destroyed by a one-in-100-year flood triggered by ex-tropical cyclone Ellie in January.

After the bridge was wiped out, many transport operators were forced to travel from Perth, to Port Augusta to Katherine to Kununurra, a journey of more than 12,000km.

A two-lane stop-gap was hastily built as a solution, but was closed in mid-September ahead of the wet season, leaving just a single lane causeway, 4km upstream of the new bridge, which remains open.

Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny heaped praise on all those responsible for building the new structure at such breakneck speed.

“It’s fantastic to have it up and running before the wet season kicks in and credit to Main Roads who tried a new building technique which hadn’t been tried before,” Dumesny.

“They were doing up to 36 metres of that bridge up to every eight days. At one stage they were talking about the bridge not opening until 2025, yet here it is up and running within a year, and it’s now stronger and longer.

“Bare in mind too that they’re building it in a remote area. It’s not like they’re in Brisbane or Sydney with lots or resources around.”

Dumesny said communities in the region had taken a “hard kick” with the loss of the bridge.

“At one stage they were talking about a 50-60 per cent rise in costs.”

Dumesny said the new bridge will also take huge pressures off the transport companies which “carry the burden”.

“Absolute congratulations to Main Roads on that one,” he added.

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