Fitzroy River Bridge reopens after Kimberly floods

Destroyed by WA's worst ever floods in January, the new Fitzroy River Bridge in the Kimberley region has been completed six months ahead of schedule
fitzroy river bridge, western australia

The Fitzroy River Bridge project has tracked well ahead of schedule, opening more than six months earlier than it was initially forecasted to.

The opening of the bridge to traffic has reconnected the East and West Kimberley following the floods in January which damaged the old bridge.

Federal minister for emergency management Murray Watt says the bridge was able to be rebuilt as quickly as it was due to a high level of collaboration between key suppliers and contractors.

This assured that construction components for the bridge, including bridge beams, bearings and concrete were available as quickly as they could be.

“The completion of the New Fitzroy River Bridge ahead of schedule is a great early Christmas present as the wet season kicks into gear,” Watt says.

“The federal government and WA state government were determined to get this bridge rebuilt as quickly as possible, because we know how important it is for local communities, as well as transport and supply chains.

“Critically, the bridge has been built back stronger than ever so that communities aren’t as badly impacted by future storms and floods.

“It’s great that this project has been built with meaningful input and support from the local Indigenous community, and I congratulate all those involved.”

The old bridge was only demolished in May, which the government says made for an unprecedentedly fast building process.

Delivered by the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance, which comprises Main Roads WA, construction companies Georgiou Group Pty Ltd and BMD Constructions Pty Ltd and designer BG&E, they say the new bridge is six times stronger than the old bridge.

It contains twice the amount of steel and concrete piles, is driven twice as deep in the riverbed and is also significantly longer than the old bridge, with two lanes.

“I was on the ground when the old bridge was demolished seven months ago, and to see a bigger and better bridge constructed in its place and now open to traffic is an achievement everyone involved can be proud of,” WA minister for transport Rita Saffioti says.

“Right from the start – we recognised how important it was to deliver this new bridge as quickly as possible – and throughout we have sought to expedite delivery and construction as much as possible.

“I want to commend the project teams from Main Roads WA and the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance, together with their local community partners, stakeholders and flood response agencies for delivering this complex task so quickly.

“Your efforts have ensured the reconnection of East and West Kimberley less than 12 months after the devastating floods – and a new bridge that will better withstand the impacts of future severe weather events.”

The WA government says the project created 240 jobs in total, from locally-sourced employees, with a quarter of the total construction hours attributed to Aboriginal people. 26 Aboriginal-owned businesses were awarded contracts for the project.

The Fitzroy River Bridge was jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

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