Procurement is being fast-tracked to select a contractor to build a new bridge in northern WA following serious flooding that damaged the existing structure.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti revealed Main Roads is seeking the contractor “as soon as possible” to build a new bridge at Fitzroy Crossing, 400 km east of Broome.
The recent one-in-100-year flood event completely washed away sections of the Great Northern Highway around Fitzroy Crossing while the bridge sustained “significant damage and will need to be fully replaced”, the minister said.
Planning for the new bridge is well underway, according to the state government, and it was indicated the replacement structure will need to be higher and longer, and dual-lane as opposed to the damaged single lane structure.
In the meantime, there are plans to implement a temporary crossing using a barge system across the river, to be operated by tugs initially, with a cable system operationalised shortly thereafter.
“The barge system will be used while Main Roads constructs a low-level floodway crossing, which will provide a more permanent option while the full replacement of the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge is undertaken,” Minister Saffioti said.
Main Roads is currently considering appropriate locations for the new floodway crossing. Construction is expected to take about four months to complete. The plan includes the option of barge infrastructure being reinstated if river levels exceed the height of the low-level floodway crossing in the future.
Image: The damaged Fitzroy Crossing bridge.