Preferred tenderer for new bridge over troubled water

The preferred tenderer has been announced for Tasmania’s Bridgewater Bridge project. The successful tenderer, McConnell Dowell, was competing with CPB Contractors for the project, but the Victorian-based construction company won out over the Sydney-based CIMIC subsidiary.

It’s not surprising given McConnell Dowell was awarded the contract for the refurbishment of the Bridgewater Bridge by the Tasmania Government in August 2009. Selection of the preferred tenderer occurred just days prior to Christmas on the project that will be the state’s largest ever transport infrastructure project.

Both companies had worked with the Tasmanian Government on the reference design which included a new two-lane bridge and a second two-lane bridge built on the alignment of the existing bridge after its removal.

However, the design to be delivered will be that of a stand-alone four-lane bridge down-stream from the existing bridge. McConnell Dowell’s design will also include enhanced interchanges at Granton and Bridgewater, south-bound on-ramp onto the bridge from Bridgewater, connections between the Brooker and Lyell Highways, and a cycling/pedestrian path.

The navigation height will match the Bowen Bridge which is halfway between the Bridgewater Bridge and the Tasman Bridge. The Bowen Bridge was built as a contingency measure in 1984 following the collapse of the Tasman Bridge in 1975 when it was struck by a ship, causing two pylons and three sections of concrete decking to fall. John Holland reconstructed the damaged bridge, which reopened in 1977.

Construction of the new Bridgewater Bridge is expected to provide 830 jobs, with more than 200 of those for local people. McConnell Dowell is set to commence design-specific site investigations, finalise designs, and prepare construction management plans early this year.

Major construction is expected to start in the middle of 2022 after the award of the design and construct contractor. Travel times for Hobart commuters will be cut as a result of the new bridge as well as significant benefits gained for freight movement between the north and south of Tasmania.

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Image source: Tasmania Government

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About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.