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Burdekin River Bridge: maintenance and rehabilitation program

Overview:

The Burdekin River Bridge rehabilitation and maintenance program is being undertaken to preserve the structural integrity of the bridge. The ongoing program will ensure a safe and durable crossing is maintained for the long-term use of vehicles, heavy transport operators, cyclists and pedestrians.

Location:

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.

Completion:

The Burdekin River Bridge rehabilitation and maintenance program will continue during the 2019-20 financial year. General bridge maintenance works will then continue into the future to ensure a safe road network for all road users.

Benefits:

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

Supplier:

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

Funding:

A total of $2.1 million is allocated in the 2019-20 financial year to continue the Burdekin Bridge rehabilitation and maintenance works. The $47.19 million Burdekin River Bridge maintenance and rehabilitation program is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments, with contributions of $26.70 million and $20.49 million respectively. Queensland Rail are a joint owner of the infrastructure and contribute to the overall project value.

Regions:
North Queensland Region - Northern District

Project info

This important program of works will see a wide variety of repairs and safeguarding works carried out on the Burdekin River Bridge, including:

  • 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
  • testing and replacing of extension joints.

Works to be completed over the coming year include: 

  • centre grid and grate replacement on the main deck
  • patch painting of the lower structures 
  • lower and upper chord painting 
  • monorail rehabilitation 
  • repair and replacement of the main truss safety barrier railing.

Bridge closures

The safety of road users is the department’s number one priority.

Full bridge closures are required from time to time 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.

TMR will provide advance notice of any full bridge closure, so that motorists can make alternative travel arrangements.

Day to day works

Maintenance works are happening on the bridge every day. These works usually involve patch painting, repairs and inspections on various parts of the bridge.

Sometimes, these works require single lane closures, with possible delays of up to 15 minutes. These works will generally occur from Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

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 program 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 10000 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. 
  • In 2016, the department replaced the incandescent lighting with LED lighting, representing the first Transport and Main Roads bridge infrastructure in Queensland to have LED lighting.  Previous incandescent lighting had to be replaced regularly due to vibration from the high daily vehicle volumes across the bridge. The new LED lighting has a longer life span and has also been found to be more visible to motorists during adverse weather conditions and at night. 
  • In 2017, the department held a photo competition as part of the Burdekin River Bridge 60th anniversary celebrations. View the winning entry.

Contact details

Phone: 1800 625 648
Email: engagement.northern@tmr.qld.gov.au

Community info

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

  • contacting us
  • keeping an eye out for the electronic signs that are located at either end of the bridge, these will show messages about any changed traffic conditions
  • calling 13 19 40 or visit QLDTraffic 
  • visiting this page for more information on the project.
Last updated
04 August 2019