Narrow bridges

11 Queensland bridges targeted in election priorities

The single-lane Gilbert River Bridge is one of 11 major freight crossings in the state that the QTA wants to repair.

The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) has spelled out what it sees as key infrastructure goals for whoever wins the federal election next month.

In a detailed plan titled Four the future of road freightthe QTA highlights four pillars for investment – ​​infrastructure investment, industry-led skills training, workplace relations reform, and enterprise and payroll reforms.

In terms of infrastructure spending, the QTA has assessed key links and the following 11 priority bridges that warrant replacements/upgrades over the next five years are among at least 30 bridges that are not part of the program of future.

Although some of these bridges have been mentioned in the press releases, they are not confirmed as a sufficient investment to open these corridors to safer, high-productivity vehicles.

QTA CEO Gary Mahon said the opportunity should be seized to improve road freight efficiency for the benefit of the economy and international competitiveness.

“Now is the time to make investments to increase connectivity with export markets and ports and supply our communities in all weathers,” said Mahon.

“To achieve this, funding should be directed towards the domestic freight route and connecting bridges to strengthen the freight network. Unlocking access for high-productivity vehicles will have significant benefits across the entire supply chain and build industry confidence to invest safely in the future.

The 11 bridge priorities

1. Rifle Creek Bridge (north of Mareeba)

  • Single lane and limited load
  • The last QTMR survey was undertaken out of cane season and the Cape route was closed

2. Spear Creek Bridge (north of Mareeba)

  • Two lanes, but not wide enough for two trucks to pass safely
  • Limited load

3. McLeod River Bridge (north of Mareeba)

  • Two lanes but not wide enough for two trucks to pass safely
  • Limited load
  • Flood prone – cuts off access to Cooktown/Cape
  • No access to three trailers

The Rifle, Spear and McLeod River bridges are the broken fuse in the network and the reason given for not allowing three trailers from Mareeba to Lakeland. These investments would open access to Cape York and the agricultural region of Lakeland.

4. Bungi Creek Roma Bridge (WM Ewan Bridge)

  • Limited for high productivity combinations

5. Gilbert River Bridge (between Georgetown and Croydon – Gulf Development Road)

  • Single Lane
  • Limited weight, unable to perform upper mass limits (HML).

6. Norman River Bridge (between Croydon and Normanton)

  • Narrow and weight limited (unable to run HML)

7. Georgetown Bridge – Etheridge River Bridge

  • Narrow and weight limited (unable to run HML)

8. Splinter Creek Crossings (on the Monto-Mt Perry and Monto-Kalpowar routes)

  • Trucks now have to go to Biloela and pass through Gladstone instead of direct access to the coast
  • This bridge is a wooden structure bridge and its weight has been limited to exclude trucks

9. Bremer River

“The 30-meter-long A-Double combination is the optimal combination carrying two 40-foot containers (four TEUs on a vehicle combination). These innovative, safe and efficient vehicle combinations cannot currently be fully utilized on this corridor, requiring additional truck movements.

The Bremer River Bridge restrictions on the Warrego Freeway are a significant constraint on this corridor and will continue to drive up costs and hamper freight efficiency, holding this potentially productive corridor in the state to ransom too long it will take to replace it.

The next Australian government must recognize the vital role played by this key corridor in transporting road freight between and around the southern region as part of the National Land Transport Network and the National Land Freight Network. Accordingly, commit to further upgrading of assets across the corridor to unlock capacity and enable increased access for the use of HPV suits. Investment to replace the Bremer River Bridge must be brought forward to unlock this network to realize its production potential.

10. Bee Creek Peak Downs Highway

Main passage to Mackay/Bowen Basin and there is no alternative around this bridge. Large critical machines for mining deliveries that cannot be reduced to smaller items.

11. Grosvenor Creek and Cherwell Creek (bridge and culvert)

The council advises that the bridge is no longer under warranty, so whenever heavy loads over 200t want to use it, a new bridge assessment is applied at the client/industry expense with delays and concurrent inefficiencies.