Work ramps up on New Fitzroy River Bridge

The first sections of deck for the New Fitzroy River Bridge are on track to be installed next month, marking an important milestone in the delivery of the project.

When completed, the new bridge will be around six times as strong, almost 100 metres longer than the old bridge and will include two lanes and a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

The New Fitzroy River Bridge is funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

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. This will allow the bridge to be completed even if the river is flowing.

Since early June, work has been ongoing 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.

As well as restoring this critical link across the Fitzroy River, the bridge project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop skills and provide new economic opportunities to those who live and work in Fitzroy Crossing and the wider Fitzroy Valley area.

Main Roads Western Australia, together with the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance, are committed to working closely with local Traditional Owners, training and skills development agencies and other third parties to ensure opportunities for local workers and businesses are maximised and the project leaves a lasting and sustainable legacy.

To date, the project has provided employment for more than 100 members of the local community, with around a quarter of total crew hours worked attributed to Aboriginal people. There has also been $7 million committed by the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance to Aboriginal-owned businesses in the Fitzroy Valley.

Quotes attributed to Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King MP:

“This large-scale infrastructure project, delivered in a remote part of the country, and utilising local community employment is an example of the strong collaboration and joint commitment by Commonwealth, State and local governments to the recovery of the region.

“The new bridge will also provide a critical link for the region into national supply chains, especially as we know that the area will continue to experience seasonal rains and floods.”

Quotes attributed to WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti:

“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.

“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.

“Importantly, this project is providing training and employment opportunities for people in the local community, with more than 100 people from the Fitzroy Valley employed on the project.

Quotes attributed to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

“The Albanese Government is continuing to work hand in hand with the Cook Government to build better transport infrastructure in one of the remotest areas of the country, following recent devastating flooding events.

“I understand construction of the new bridge is progressing really well, with demolition of the old bridge complete and construction of the new bridge foundations underway.

“I’m also incredibly pleased that the construction project is providing skills training and meaningful employment for the community another important part of the Fitzroy Valley recovery journey.

“This is a vital piece of infrastructure for the community and I look forward to seeing the completion of project works as soon as possible.”

Quotes attributed to WA Minister for Emergency Services Stephen Dawson:

“The speed at which this bridge project is progressing is a testament to the Cook and Albanese Governments’ commitment to restoring a permanent connection as quickly as possible.

“The project is also delivering on the joint commitment to deliver economic benefits, maximise local content and create job opportunities for impacted communities.”

/Public Release. View in full here.