Construction is now underway to replace three single-lane bridges with dual-lane bridges on the Great Northern Highway, delivering another important road project for the Kimberley region.
The bridges cross Tickalara Creek, Frog Hollow Creek and Arthur Creek, improving safety for drivers and the freight industry who regularly depend on the highway.
Construction works are being delivered by Fortec Australia, with many local workers and businesses involved, creating jobs and opportunity for Western Australians. It will also increase job opportunities for Aboriginal people and procurement opportunities for Aboriginal businesses.
This project partners the Federal Government with the Western Australian Government’s commitment to develop a sustainable program of works that drive long-term employment and training opportunities within the Kimberley region.
Construction will initially focus on the Tickalara Creek and Frog Hollow Creek Bridges, with a camp recently set up at Mabel Downs Station.
Installation of safety barriers and site fencing has started, with clearing, foundation preparation and road approach earthworks scheduled for June and July. Arthur Creek bridge works will be undertaken during the 2024 dry season.
It is one of several road improvements underway in 2023 in the region, including the New Fitzroy River Bridge Project. Design specifications will ensure the new bridges are able to withstand future significant flood events.
The $33 million bridge replacement project is being funded by the Federal Government’s commitment of $26.4 million and the State Government’s commitment of $6.6 million.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said The Great Northern Highway serves as the major connection between the Kimberley region and the rest of the state and country.
“It represents a critical transport link for mining, cattle, tourism, horticulture and agriculture while connecting many remote Aboriginal communities to essential services,” Ms King said.
“Upgrading these bridges will not only make this stretch of road safer for all road users but will also help future-proof this critical transport link.”
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said the recent flooding in the Kimberley region has highlighted the importance of road infrastructure investment to create safer, more sustainable and reliable transport routes.
“Replacing the bridges at Tickalara Creek, Frog Hollow Creek and Arthur Creek is an important step in making the Great Northern Highway more resilient to flood conditions and safer for heavy vehicle traffic and road users,” Ms Saffioti said.
“This is one of several major projects we are delivering in the Kimberley region which is helping build a sustainable and long-term program of works.
“The bridge replacement project is expected to support 100 direct and indirect jobs during construction, as well as increase employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people and increase procurement from Aboriginal businesses.
“The project’s delivery contractor includes an Aboriginal employment target of ten per cent, an Aboriginal business expenditure target of 7.5 per cent, and financial incentives for delivering above the Aboriginal employment targets.”
Senator for Western Australia, Glenn Sterle, said this is great news for the communities in this part of the Kimberley who depend on reliable and safe travel and freight transport links over these crossings.
“Projects like this are important to not only assist employment and businesses in the communities these bridges connect, but also to provide better infrastructure and safer roads lasting long into the future,” Mr Sterle said.
“The Australian Government is pleased to be co-funding these much-needed bridge replacements, effectively reducing safety hazards and streamlining passenger travel and freight transport links between these essential communities.”
Kimberley MLA, Divina D’Anna, said the State Government is delivering a number of critical road and infrastructure projects across the Kimberley.
“My focus as the local member and the new Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport, is to ensure we leverage these projects to deliver positive employment and training outcomes for Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley.
“Not only are we setting targets, we’re providing incentives for contractors to go above and beyond, to make sure Aboriginal communities share in the economic benefits being delivered by these projects.”