Catastrophic bridge failure

Part of a bridge that underwent strengthening works less than three years ago has collapsed in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria region.

Around $1.2 million of government funding was spent on strengthening the Routh Creek Bridge with externally bonded carbon fibre reinforced polymer in 2021.

The concrete bridge is between Georgetown and Mt Surprise in Far North Queensland and is controlled by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

The bridge forms part of a major highway, the Gulf Developmental Road, which is now closed. Far North Queensland has been buffeted over summer with heavy rain and cyclones and it is believed flood damage may have caused the catastrophic failure of the bridge’s foundations last week.

Media outlets have reported that geotechnical and structural assessments are being carried out to determine next steps for repair.

Image: Routh Creek Bridge. Source: TMR via ABC News.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.