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Burdekin River Bridge: maintenance and rehabilitation project


The Burdekin River Bridge rehabilitation and maintenance project is a 5 year program of works that will preserve the integrity of the bridge and ensure a safe and durable crossing is maintained for the long term use of vehicles, heavy transport operators, cyclists and pedestrians.


The Burdekin River Bridge is located on the Bruce Highway between the townships of Home Hill and Ayr and is a significant link in the national road network. It is also the only rail link between North and South Queensland.

Northern Region

Project info

The Burdekin River Bridge rehabilitation and maintenance project will ensure an efficient and safe road network is maintained for motorists and the transport industry. These maintenance and rehabilitation works will also play an integral part in preserving the bridge for future use.

The important program of works will see a wide variety of repairs and safeguarding works carried out on the bridge over a 5 year period. These works will include:

  • patch-painting and spot-welding on sections of the bridge, in preparation for total repainting
  • structural repairs to the bridge
  • installation of new link beams (a link beam is the segment of a beam between a brace and a column on the bridge) to enable future maintenance works to be completed more quickly
  • sandblasting of rusted areas
  • re-asphalting and new line-marking on the road approaches to the bridge
  • internal and external inspections of the bridge piers
  • cleaning and inspection of the pedestrian walkway
  • a full lighting assessment on the bridge
  • testing and replacing of extension joints.

This project is being undertaken by the Burdekin Bridge Alliance which is an alliance between the Department of Transport and Main Roads and RoadTek.

Bridge closures

The safety of road users is the department’s number one priority. Full bridge closures are required from time to time for some maintenance works to ensure that both motorists and workers on the bridge are always kept safe. Often, the sheer size of the machinery required for these works means that there is not sufficient room for other vehicles to cross the bridge and it must be closed to traffic when this equipment is in use. These full closures are usually undertaken at night to take advantage of the lowest traffic demand on the road.

Full bridge closures will be programmed throughout the year to allow for these larger and more complex works to be completed. Closures will be scheduled where possible for Sunday nights between 9pm and 4am.

Day to day works

Maintenance works don’t just happen on the bridge at night. In fact, there are a number of smaller maintenance works happening on the bridge every day. These works usually involve patch painting, spot welding and inspections on various parts of the bridge.

Sometimes, these works require single lane closures, or short term (15 minutes) full closures. These works will usually occur from Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm. If you are travelling via the Burdekin River Bridge during these hours, make sure you allow extra travel time in case of delays due to these maintenance works.

Burdekin River Bridge Facts

  • Construction of the Burdekin River Bridge was completed in 1957. The Burdekin River Bridge maintenance and rehabilitation project is the first major structural rehabilitation work undertaken since its construction.
  • During construction of the Burdekin River Bridge, 235 people were employed at any one time with more than 300,000 high strength bolts and 7000 tonnes of steel being used.
  • The Burdekin River Bridge is only 46 metres shorter in length than the Sydney Harbour Bridge and comprises 10 main spans (each 250 feet) and 22 approach spans with a total length of approximately 3620 feet (1103m).
  • The Burdekin River Bridge is an important link in the national transportation network and is a strategic, high flood immunity link between north and south Queensland.
  • The alternate road route to Townsville via Mount Coolon-Belyando-Charters Towers is 355km longer with some sections of unsealed road.
  • Over 7000 vehicles cross the Burdekin River Bridge each day.
  • On Tuesday 5 October 2010, the Burdekin River Bridge received an Engineering Heritage National Landmark award from Engineers Australia. This award recognises significant engineering heritage works that have been judged to be valuable to a group of people, or have contributed something of value to the nation, a region or to the practice of engineering.

Contact details

Contact: Community Engagement Services
Freecall: 1800 625 648
Fax: (07) 4720 7211

Community info

Stay informed about works on the Burdekin River Bridge and get details on any upcoming traffic changes by:

  • registering for email updates about the project by emailing
  • calling Community Engagement Services on 1800 625 648 and registering for fax updates
  • checking your local paper – advertisements and updates will be posted in both the Ayr Advocate and the Home Hill Observer when closures and other works are scheduled
  • looking for updates in Saturday’s ‘Roadwork Update’ in the Townsville Bulletin
  • keeping an eye out for the electronic signs (VMS boards) that are located at either end of the bridge. These will show messages about any changed traffic conditions
  • visiting this page for more information on the project.
Last updated
08 February 2017