Barron River bridge (Kuranda) management

TMR is carrying out inspections, testing and repairs on the Barron River bridge near Kuranda.

In late October 2020, inspections identified fatigue cracks in some steel elements of the bridge over the Barron River near Kuranda.

These cracks are caused by many years of impacts from heavy vehicles, which are now much heavier than when the bridge was designed and built in the early 1960s.

The issue is not unusual in steel bridges of this age and can be managed.

If not managed properly, the damage could get worse, resulting in a possible long-term full closure of the bridge.

TMR is carrying out investigations, testing and repairs to better understand the issues and ensure the bridge can remain open to traffic.

Benefits

  • Improves safety

Key features

  • Single lane closure.
  • Traffic directed down the centre of the bridge.
  • Manual traffic control in place during peak periods.
  • Temporary traffic signals in place outside of peak periods and when the Under-Bridge Inspection Unit is in place.

Funding

Investigations and repairs are being carried out using Element 19 program funding. There is currently no capital budget. 

Current status

TMR's consultant, Arup, has submitted a draft technical report on investigations into the condition of the bridge, which recommends further investigations, monitoring and repairs.

For safety, current single-lane traffic conditions must remain in place until these risks are properly understood and mitigated, and repairs are carried out.

These conditions will be progressively reviewed over the coming months. It is possible that the single-lane closure will remain in place for the remaining life of the bridge, until we develop and implement a long-term crossing solution.

TMR understands the public interest in this matter and will provide updates as soon as new information becomes available.

Barron River Bridge – Ultrasonic testing on a girder

Barron River Bridge – Ultrasonic testing on a girder

Road sign wide – Load limit signage on Barron River bridge

Road sign wide – Load limit signage on Barron River bridge