$7m bridge upgrade to help industries in central west
A Central Queensland bridge upgrade is expected to unlock the potential of the freight, agriculture and mining industries.
Works to replace the ageing Barcoo River Bridge will begin in April, a $7 million project delivered as part of a commitment by the Australian and Queensland Governments to fast-track 22 regional projects.
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the location of the Barcoo River Bridge, on the Dawson Developmental Road between Springsure and Tambo, was important in unlocking the vast potential of the freight, agriculture and mining industries.
“Replacing this bridge will help connect regional businesses to local and international markets and better connect regional communities,” he said.
“Improved and diversified access will also deliver substantial social and economic benefits, including greater opportunities for regional employment and business growth, injecting economic stimulus at a time when it is needed most.”
At more than 70 years old, the existing bridge is too narrow to accommodate many modern freight vehicles, including road trains – forcing many on a 185-kilometre detour.
Queensland Assistant Minister Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads Bruce Saunders said the bridge would be replaced with a wider, higher, modern, concrete structure with upgraded road approaches and additional drainage works.
“This project will improve access for higher capacity vehicles, increase flood immunity and connectivity between communities and provide a safer and more reliable road network,” he said.
“I’m proud to say crews from Blackall-Tambo Regional Council and RoadTek are set to deliver this project, which will support an average of 23 direct jobs over its life, greatly supporting Queensland’s economy in our recovery from COVID-19.”
The bridge will increase from 3.7m to 9.2m wide, higher by 0.69m, with road approaches to the new bridge widened to 8m. Additional drainage works will also be delivered to increase water flow during flooding to limit impacts to the bridge and road.
Blackall-Tambo region Mayor Andrew Martin said the benefits of replacing the bridge with a contemporary structure would ripple through the local economy and beyond for years.
“The bridge provides critical access for our local commercial industry and ensures our community can reach essential services such as the Tambo aerodrome and the emergency support offered by the Royal Flying Doctors,” Mr Martin said.
“Replacing the bridge with a wider and more modern structure will also ensure the flourishing mining projects in our neighbouring Central Highlands Regional Council area and beyond are supported by a more direct and accessible transport route.
“Importantly, our council crews will be delivering the road work part of the project, which provides continuity of employment for our workforce.”
The road work component of the project will start in April, with the bulk of works beginning in May.
The $7m Barcoo River Bridge Replacement Project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.