Thanks to the approaching wet season, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has temporarily reopened the Alice River bridge on the Landsborough Highway south of Barcaldine.
According to a TMR spokesman, the sealed, two-lane side track that's been in place since August doesn't have flood immunity, but work to strengthen the bridge's foundations had progressed enough to enable the bridge to be reopened for the wet season.
As a result, both lanes of the bridge on one of inland Australia's major freight routes are open for travel at the 110kmh posted speed.
Prior to August's side track opening, a 40kmh single lane controlled bridge crossing had been in place since November 2020 while investigations into the movement of a bridge pylon took place.
The spokesman said a main component of the bridge's progressive rehabilitation, constructing a pad footing under the pylon, had been completed, meaning it was safe for traffic to return onto the bridge.
Only over-mass vehicles travelling with a permit will be required to cross at a reduced speed.
It is expected traffic will return to the sidetrack once the wet season is over in 2022, likely to be March or April.
Rehabilitation works will then recommence with completion expected mid-2022.
Despite rain in the catchment last week, the Alice River bed has remained dry at the bridge's location at this stage.
"This staged approach to rehabilitating the bridge ensures safe and reliable access across the Alice River during the wet season," the spokesman said. " Road users are reminded to drive with caution and follow the direction of signage at this location."
For more information, please contact TMR in Barcaldine on 4651 2777 during business hours or email email@example.com
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