Labor pledges to build new $450m Barron River Bridge if re-elected

The problem-plagued Barron River Bridge at Kuranda will be replaced by a $450 million version, if Labor is re-elected by Queensland voters on October 26.

The bridge, which was opened in 1963, has been a constant cause of frustration for the freight industry in the state in recent years.

Intermittent single lane operation has been in place since 2020 alongside heavy vehicle weight reductions in an ongoing struggle to keep the bridge open due to bridge faults caused by neglected maintenance schedules and a failure to replace corroded parts.

The new Barron River Bridge will include:

  • A new alignment, downstream of the current bridge
  • Concrete balanced cantilever design
  • Two wider traffic lanes to meet latest design standards, and
  • Protected active transport connections for pedestrians and bike riders.
An artist’s impression of the new bridge. Image: TMR

Construction will begin in the next term of government and, based on Transport and Main Roads advice, will be complete by 2031.

“I have listened to my community, and now a re-elected Miles Labor Government will deliver,” said Barron River MP Craig Crawford.

Barron River locals can trust that I will deliver this for them – just look at the Smithfield Bypass – and we have a real $450 million funding commitment on the table to deliver a new bridge over the Barron River at Kuranda Range.”

The 2024 state budget included a $15 million investment towards preconstruction activities for a new Barron River Bridge.

A further $262 million in joint funding from the Miles and Albanese Labor governments will also deliver safety and resilience upgrades along Kuranda Range Road.

The scope of these works is under development, but could include protective barriers and guardrails, shoulder widening, wide centre line treatments, Intelligent Transport Systems, vegetation management and slope stability treatments at strategic locations.

Almost $40 million was also invested to deliver intelligent transport solutions on the range, which was completed in March this year.

This system helps to rapidly detect and manage incidents on the range and provide real time information from the range back to Transport and Main Roads.

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