David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Barcoo River Bridge replacement on the way

April 9, 2021

Works to replace the ageing Barcoo River Bridge will begin this month, improving freight access to the region for major industries.

An announcement by the Australian and Queensland Governments last year to fast-track millions in construction works on 22 regional projects included the $7 million bridge replacement.

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the location of the Barcoo River Bridge, on the Dawson Developmental Road between Springsure and Tambo, is 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,” Mr Littleproud 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.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said at more than 70 years old, the existing bridge was too narrow to accommodate many modern freight vehicles, including road trains – forcing many industries on a 185-kilometre detour.

“Queensland’s economic recovery is well underway and that includes building better roads for the South West Regional Economic Development region, its $3 billion economy and 14,000 jobs,” Minister Bailey said.

“The freight industry plays a pivotal role in keeping our economy moving and growing – we saw that during the height of COVID-19. We’re backing them, backing the region and backing jobs with a new bridge and an overall $17.8 billion roads and transport program for regional Queensland.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the investment was part of the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative to upgrade key inland freight corridors.

“ROSI is ensuring our key freight roads efficiently connect agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Australian Government continues to roll out these types of major projects across the nation under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan, which is laying the foundations for economic recovery from the global pandemic.”

Queensland Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads Bruce Saunders said the bridge will 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,” Assistant Minister Saunders 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.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is delivering works such as road sealing, flood immunity, strengthening and widening, pavement rehabilitation, bridge and culvert upgrades and road realignments

“As a former freight operator, I understand how vital these types of bridge upgrades can be for the efficiency and productivity of local transport companies and operators.”

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Mayor Andrew Martin said the benefits of replacing the bridge with a contemporary structure would ripple through the local economy and beyond for years to come.

“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,” Cr 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 roadwork component is about to start with the bulk of works beginning next month.

The $7 million Barcoo River Bridge Replacement Project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative ($5.6 million Australian Government and $1.4 million Queensland Government).

For more information, please visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au or investment.infrastructure.gov.au/key_projects/initiatives/roads_strategic_importance.aspx.