River Bridge

A consortium has been announced as the Preferred Proponent to replace the Fitzroy River Bridge in the Kimberley region.

The consortium of Georgiou Group and BMD Constructions has been named as the Preferred Proponent. They have considerable experience in constructing bridges in Western Australia and have indicated that they have the resources and capacity to commence construction activities as soon as possible after the current wet season.

The consortium will form an alliance with Main Roads and design consultant BG&E to undertake this critical project. 

Western Australia Premier, Mark McGowan, said the appointment of a preferred proponent is a critical step in reconnecting the Great Northern Highway, and getting the Fitzroy Bridge rebuilt.

“The preferred proponents we have announced, have significant experience in this space, and importantly have capacity to deliver these works in our heated construction market,” Premier McGowan said.

Preliminary design investigations are already underway, with site works expected to begin in May 2023 subject to weather conditions and resolution of environmental and heritage issues. The project is expected to reach completion by 2025.

Federal Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said progress on replacing the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge and ensuring the local community benefits from the economic activity the project will generate is great news for the people of Fitzroy Crossing.

“A permanent, and more resilient bridge not only restores the connection for the communities on the two sides of the river but also provides more certainty about freight routes,” Ms King said.

In addition to the permanent restoration of connectivity between the east and west Kimberley, the bridge replacement project will see significant investment in the region’s economy. 

The Alliance will generate opportunities for local suppliers and will work with Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal Corporations to maximise employment and engagement, whilst fostering greater cultural awareness.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the Federal and State Governments have worked very collaboratively on recovery efforts, and that work will continue.

Western Australia Minister for Planning, Rita Saffiot, said, “The new Fitzroy River bridge is a project of critical importance to the Kimberley region, the freight industry and all those businesses and communities that rely on the road network in the north of the state.

“I commend Main Roads for fast-tracking its procurement process to allow construction to begin as quickly as possible.

“Main Roads and their Alliance partners will work closely with Traditional Owners to ensure key cultural and heritage considerations associated with the new bridge are carefully addressed and will maximise opportunities for local businesses in Fitzroy Crossing and the wider region.”

The Western Australian and Federal Governments will also provide up to $80 million to undertake emergency road recovery works following Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie under the joint Federal-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The initial works include emergency works to reconnect the region, the installation of the low level crossing at Fitzroy Crossing, the barge infrastructure and operation along with Gibb Rover Road reinstatement works, permanent repairs at Willare and Fitzroy Crossing.

Western Australian Minister for Emergency Service, Stephen Dawson, said, “Reconnecting communities isolated by this unprecedented flooding event is crucial for the region’s recovery.

“Ensuring we have a safe, secure replacement for the future is a priority for the Western Australian Government.”

Works are being prioritised by Main Roads and will get underway as soon as practically possible, working to the seasonal weather conditions.

Discussions between the Federal and Western Australian Government regarding the shared costs of the bridge replacement are well progressed.

Member for Kimberley, Divina D’Anna, said this is an important milestone in the recovery for the region and in the reconnection of the Kimberley.

“The Fitzroy River Bridge works are being actioned as a priority, which I know will be a great relief for our communities and welcome news for businesses and industry that depend on this route.”

Another milestone in the reopening of Great Northern Highway has occurred between Broome and Derby near Willare. Works to build a second lane on a temporary gravel track have now been completed, and the road will be reopened to all traffic.

“It is also fantastic that the Great Northern Highway has reopened between Broome and Derby,” Ms D’Anna said.

“The efforts to reconnect and support our region after the floods has been extraordinary and I’m grateful to all involved in this process.”

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