Burdekin River Bridge: maintenance and rehabilitation program

We are undertaking the rehabilitation and maintenance program for the Burdekin River Bridge 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, rail operations, cyclists and pedestrians.

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.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Better active transport
  • Improves ride quality

Key features

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.

Funding

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments. 

Total investment
$47.19 million
Australian Government
$26.70 million
Queensland Government
$20.49 million
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.

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 7,000 tonnes of steel being used. 
  • The Burdekin River Bridge is only 46m 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 3,620 feet (1,103m). 
  • 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 10,000 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, we replaced the incandescent lighting with LED lighting, representing our first 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. 

The Burdekin River Bridge view from the south-east River bank

The Burdekin River Bridge view from the south-east River bank

Aerial view of the Burdekin River Bridge

Aerial view of the Burdekin River Bridge

Working on the downstream top chord (steel bridge deck)

Working on the downstream top chord (steel bridge deck)

Abrasive blasting the surface of a downstream top chord (steel bridge deck)

Abrasive blasting the surface of a downstream top chord (steel bridge deck)

Image of Burdekin Bridge map

Project Map