Flooding generated by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie in December 2022 and January 2023 caused significant damage to the sections of Great Northern Highway at Willare Crossing and Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley.
At Fitzroy Crossing, the Fitzroy River Bridge, just east of the townsite was significantly damaged, along with 500 metres of road, cutting access to Aboriginal communities east of the Fitzroy River as well as the East Kimberley and Northern Territory.
Project Update - December 2023
The Fitzroy River Bridge has officially opened to traffic and is a welcome relief for the people of Fitzroy Crossing and the wider Kimberley as the next wet season approaches. Find out more in our latest Project Update.
New Fitzroy River Bridge opened 10 December
The New Fitzroy River Bridge over the Martuwarra River at Fitzroy Crossing will officially opened to traffic on Sunday 10 December, more than six months ahead of schedule.
Main Roads and the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance thank the local community for its support and involvement in this critical project.
Project Update – November 2023
The New Fitzroy River Bridge continues to make steady progress with the bridge on track to open by the end of the year. Work is continuing around the clock as we prepare for pedestrian and vehicle access. For more information on this, as well as our ongoing work in the community, please view our latest Project Update.
New bridge to be open by the end of 2023
The New Fitzroy River Bridge will open to all traffic by the end of 2023, more than six months ahead of schedule. This early opening will provide assurance to the local community and freight industry ahead of the next wet season.
Construction is progressing at a rapid rate with the entire bridge deck now substantively complete.Works are now underway on the deck surfacing and safety barriers, as well as road construction works on both bridge approaches.
We will continue to keep the local community and freight industry updated on the progress of the works and a further announcement on the details of opening to traffic and timing, will be made in the coming weeks.
Two-lane low-level crossing closure – from 7am Wednesday 13 September
- The two-lane low-level crossing, currently used by all vehicles and pedestrians to get across the Fitzroy River, is now CLOSED.
- All traffic must detour onto the recently upgraded single lane crossing, 4km upstream of the new Fitzroy River Bridge via Forrest Road, Russ Road and Yurabi Road.
- The detour is accessible 24 hours a day for all vehicles with the exception of road trains and Over Size Over Mass (OSOM) vehicles over 20 metres long which, for safety reasons, can only access the detour between daylight hours of 6.30am and 5.30pm.
- Road Trains and OSOM vehicles over 20 metres long arriving outside of these hours will be required to park up at the road train break down areas on either side of the Road Train Assembly Areas on Great Northern Highway.
- Heavy Vehicle Operators should refer to the latest HVS Update 34-2023.
- A bus service has been re-established, between the Joy Springs Community and the IGA. A copy of the timetable is available here.
Bridge deck launch underway
The first segments of the new Fitzroy River Bridge deck are being launched, marking a major project milestone.
A launchpad is located on the western side of the river, on to which the deck components are being assembled, before being launched in stages. Launching the bridge deck from this side of the river means construction should not be affected by the upcoming wet season and rising water levels.
Our latest animation, shows how the bridge is being launched before being connected into the existing road network.
Project Update – August 2023
Our latest Project Update newsletter is available to view. The update marks the substantial progress that has been made in recent months and provides a lookahead to bridge launch activities, scheduled in September.
Removal of temporary two-lane crossing
The temporary two-lane low-level crossing, currently open to all vehicles adjacent to the new Fitzroy River Bridge, will be removed in mid-September with all traffic diverted onto the old low-level crossing.
The old low-level causeway is being upgraded to cater for all vehicles including road trains and oversized vehicles and will remain open until the river levels rise. Once water levels rise and the river is navigable, the barge ferry service will be reinstated to transport passengers and light vehicles.
The two-lane crossing needs to be removed before the wet season to remove the risk of the steel casings being washed into and damaging the new bridge. It will also allow embankment protection works to be undertaken on the riverbank.
Pier installation passes the half-way mark
Pier construction on the New Fitzroy River Bridge is over 50% complete, with four of seven piers now in place. We are on track to complete the substructure concrete build (piers and pile caps) by the end of the month, allowing the bridge deck launch to commence in early September.
Students launch into bridge mural
In late July, ten talented art students from Fitzroy Valley District High School visited the worksite to paint a mural on the launch nose for the new bridge. The students worked over two days to create the seven-metre-long artwork.
With the mural complete, the launch nose can be temporarily attached to the front of the bridge. It will then guide the bridge segments across the top of the piers, as they're pushed across the river to the other side.
Piling for the New Fitzroy River Bridge is complete and the first four of 28 pre-fabricated pier segments have been installed. Seven piers, which will provide the structural support for the new bridge, are being constructed over the coming weeks as we prepare to launch the first part of the bridge deck in September.
Please view the Joint Media Statement for more information.
As at 24 February 2023 the Fitzroy River Bridge Replacement project includes the following scope of works (please note that this is subject to change as further design and development is undertaken):
- Construction of a new two-lane bridge over the Fitzroy River on the same alignment as the existing bridge
- Provision of a pedestrian pathway as part of the new structure
- Reconstruction of bridge approaches to connect the new bridge to the existing Great Northern Highway
- Construction of flood and scour protection on the new road approaches
- Protection, relocation and modification of Utility Services required for the construction of the works
- Project Update - November 23
- Project Update - August 2023
- Project Update - July 2023
- Project Update - June 2023
- Project Update - May 2023
- Project Update - 24 February 2023
- Project Update 8 February 2023
- Project Update 6 February 2023
- Project Update 25 January 2023
- Building the New Fitzroy River Bridge
- Launching the New Fitzroy River Bridge
- Design render - May 2023
- Joint media Statement - New Fitzroy River Bridge opens six months ahead of schedule - 10 December 2023
- Media Statement - New Fitzroy River Bridge opening date announced - 23 November 2023
- New Fitzroy River Bridge Update - 11 October 2023
- Joint media statement - New Fitzroy River Bridge Launching into place - 7 September 2023
- Joint media statement - Work ramps up on the New Fitzroy River Bridge - 3 August 2023
- Joint media statement - Demolition of Western Australia's flood-damaged Fitzroy River Bridge begins - 18 May 2023
- Joint media statement - Contract signed for Fitzroy River Bridge replacement - 29 March 2023
- Road users urged to plan tourist travel to the Kimberley - 19 March 2023
- Joint media statement - Preferred proponent named for Fitzroy River Bridge replacement - 24 February 2023
- Flood damaged section of Great Northern Highway reopens today - 9 February 2023
- Staged re-opening for flood damaged section of Great Northern Highway - 6 February 2023
- State Government finalises strategy to reconnect Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing - 23 January 2023
- Main Roads warns against dangerous behaviour in flood affected Kimberley - 9 January 2023