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Pioneer River bridge construction

The Mackay Ring Road crosses a number of waterways and drainage features. To minimise flood impacts on the region 4 new bridges and 9 new overpasses will be built.

New bridges will be built at:

  • Lagoon Creek
  • Pioneer River
  • Fursden Creek
  • Fursden Creek Overflow

New overpass structures will be built at:

  • Cowleys Road
  • Schmidtke Road
  • Stotts Road
  • Peak Downs Highway
  • Calrossie Road
  • Gibson Road
  • North Coast Rail & Sugarshed Road
  • Port Access Road
  • Port Rail

New Pioneer River crossing

The new 670 metre Pioneer River crossing with be the largest bridge structure built on the Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1). When completed the crossing will carry traffic in both directions, creating a vital connection between the north and south of Mackay.

To build the new bridge, two temporary bunds (sand working platforms) will be constructed.  The first bund will be constructed on the south side of the river, to allow for the first half of the bridge construction to be undertaken. The second bund will then be built on the north side of the river, to allow for construction of the remaining section of the bridge. Bunds are reinforced with a number of strong, synthetic fabrics and crushed rock to provide strong and safe foundations for building the bridge.

The majority of sand used for the bund is sourced from other locations in the Pioneer River.

Stages of construction

Construction of the new Pioneer River bridge is made up of 3 main components.


The substructure stage includes construction of the temporary bunds and placement of piling access pads.

A total of 154 precast octagonal piles and 18 cast-in-place piles will be used to build the main bridge.

Bridge abutments will be constructed on the riverbanks. This includes concrete protection to the embankment surrounding the piles.


A total of 38 deck units and 108 Super-T precast girders (support beams) will be transported to site and lifted into place to complete the bridge superstructure. Girders are lifted by a number of large cranes and installed on top of specialist weight transfer pads and anchored into place.


The bridge decks, kerbs and bridge barriers will be cast-in-place to make up the road surface of the bridge.

Laying of the road surface, line marking and drainage installation completes the bridge works.

Media Gallery

Image of Pioneer River crossing construction work site.
Pioneer River crossing works.

Image of a substructure being built on Mackay Ring Road project
Substructure construction works on new Pioneer Bridge.

Artistic impression of bridge construction components - driven technique

Bridge construction components—driven

Artistic impressions of bridge construction components - bored (cast in place) technique
Bridge construction components—bored (cast-in-place)

Last updated
19 March 2020