Western Australia’s government has fast-tracked the tender process to build a new bridge over the Fitzroy River, with the new structure to be “six-times stronger”.
The old Fitzroy Crossing bridge, which took the Great Northern Highway over the river near the Kimberley town of Fitzroy Crossing, was destroyed by record floodwaters generated by ex-tropical cyclone Ellie at the start of the year.
The extent of damage to the Great Northern Highway over the Fitzroy River bridge following record flooding earlier in the year. Picture: Nathan Dyer
Georgiou Group, BMD Constructions and BG&E Pty have been awarded the contract to replace the bridge under an “open book alliance” – meaning the cost will be ongoing and split with the federal government under disaster relief funding measures.
Announcing the contract agreement on Wednesday, West Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new bridge would be 270m long, about 100m longer than the old bridge, with piers sunk down 40m.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new bridge was ‘critical’. Picture: NCA NewsWire /Philip Gostelow
That’s double the depth of the old piers because the extent of the flooding caused “significant sand movement” and effectively increased the width of the river channel.
‘Worst flood in history’ batters WA’s Fitzroy River communities
“We know how critical this bridge is to reconnecting East and West Kimberley, which is why we fast-tracked the procurement process,” said Ms Saffioti, who added that a normal tender process could take up to 12 months to complete.
A 100 bed camp will also be established at the site to accommodate workers on the project, which will hopefully be finished by mid-2024 at the earliest.
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