Construction of New Fitzroy River Bridge continues to progress

Monica Gameng   |   September 12, 2023
Fitzroy River Bridge (cr: Main Roads Western Australia)

The delivery of a new Fitzroy River Bridge in Western Australia’s Kimberley region has reached another significant milestone with the launch of the first segment of the new bridge deck. 

The deck is going to be launched span by span, with a 36-metre segment set to be positioned every eight days until the new structure is completed. 

The launchpad where the decks are being assembled and launched in stages is located on the western end of the river. Launching the bridge deck from this side will enable construction to be carried out without being affected by the upcoming wet season and rising water levels. 

This milestone follows the installation of seven steel and concrete piers that provide structural support for the bridge deck. Construction of the pier was completed in just 49 days, using prefabricated concrete shells. 

“This project has now reached the stage where critical substructure works in the river channel are now completed, 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,” WA Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said. 

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

The project includes: 

  • Construction of a new two-way bridge over the Fitzroy River on the same alignment as the existing bridge 
  • Provision of a pedestrian pathway as part of the new structure 
  • Reconstruction of bridge approaches to connect the new bridge to the existing Great Northern Highway 
  • Construction of flood and scour protection on the new road approaches 
  • Protection, relocation and modification of Utility Services required for the construction of the works 

“The Australian Government continues to maintain strong, working relationships with state and local governments, and this large-scale infrastructure project is a fantastic example of that. 

“This will be vital during the upcoming wet seasons the area is all too used to,” Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said. 

new-fitzroy-river-bridge-piling-update-1Project site (source: Main Roads Western Australia)

Flooding due to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie severely damaged the sections of Great Northern Highway at Willare Crossing and Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region. Building the New Fitzroy River Bridge will help restore access to Aboriginal communities east of the Fitzroy River, the East Kimberley and Northern Territory. 

Once complete, the new bridge will be six times stronger and about 100 metres longer than the old Fitzroy River Bridge. 

“The project continues the joint commitment made by the Albanese and Cook Governments to deliver genuine economic benefits that maximise local content and create job opportunities for the communities impacted by the disaster. 

“Over the coming months, the local community, industry and visitors to the region will see the bridge deck make its journey from the western side of the river to the eastern embankment. 

“This represents outstanding progress from the construction team, after just five months on site and nine months on from the devastation caused by the Kimberley floods,” WA Minister for Emergency Services Stephen Dawson said. 

Earlier this year, the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance – comprised of Georgiou Group, BMD Constructions, BG&E and Main Roads Western Australia – was appointed to undertake the delivery of the project. 

The Alliance will continue to work with local Traditional Owners as well as training and skills development agencies and other third parties to maximise opportunities for local businesses and workers – ensuring the project leaves a lasting and sustainable legacy. 

The New Fitzroy River Bridge project has already created 132 local jobs to date, with about a quarter of total crew hours worked attributed to Aboriginal people. In addition, about $11 million has so far been committed to Aboriginal-owned businesses in the Fitzroy Valley. 

The new river crossing is anticipated to open to traffic in mid-2024. 

“It’s great to see work progressing on this important project which connects the region. 

“Critically for the community, the bridge construction project is also providing employment opportunities for the local Fitzroy Valley community, which is an on-going, important part of recovery,” Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said. 

Source: Government of Western Australia – Media Statements; Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government; Main Roads Western Australia 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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