Pine Creek Bridge upgrade plans a win for heavy freight

The Northern Areas Council in South Australia is seeking expressions of interest by February 17 for construction work to upgrade the Pine Creek Bridge and restore heavy-vehicle freight along the Appila-Laura Road

Transport operators in South Australia will be keeping a keen eye on the progress of upgrades to the Appila to Laura heavy freight route this year as construction moves closer on the Pine Creek Bridge.

A 30-tonne weight limit was imposed on the Pine Creek Bridge in 2019, putting the route out of action for heavy vehicles.

Three years of debate between three levels of government around where the money to fund road upgrades along the route, including the bridge, would come from, appear to have been resolved with the Federal Government now providing nearly $3 million, and the State government and Northern Areas Council contributing the balance of the budget between them.

The proposed Pine Creek Bridge remediation works will encompass:

  • widening of the deck from 6.4m to 7.8m;
  • restoring composite action between steel girders and concrete slab by retrofitting shear connectors;
  • demolition of the bridge segments supporting the barriers and assosciated headstock, deck wearing surfacing and tie back assembly located at one end of the bridge;
  • blast cleaning and coating of the stell beams and
  • minor concrete repairs.

Stuart MP Geoff Brock, who has lobbied for improvements to the bridge for several years shared his excitement with the advancement of the project on his facebook page at the end of November 2022.

“The ageing Pine Creek Bridge in the Mid North will be renewed, and I couldn’t be more pleased,” he says.

“I first raised the matter of urgent funding for the upgrade of the Pine Creek Bridge on the Gladstone to Orroroo Road last year when I was the Member for Frome.

“Although it’s taken a while to put the funding together, I am thrilled for the community.

“The 70-year-old bridge was built in the 1940s and is owned by the Northern Areas Council.

“The bridge currently has a 30-tonne safe limit which has seen agricultural and livestock freight taking a lengthy detour along a partially sealed road to get to their destinations.

“I am extremely happy at the outcome for road users, especially the Mid North farming sector, who will be able to travel along this important freight route following the Pine Creek Bridge upgrade.

“It’s a great outcome for people in the community, who have been waiting several years for a positive result.”

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