New bridge boosts North Qld

The bridge, located approximately 20km south of Cairns at Gordonvale, was built by BMD Constructions in a joint venture with Brisbane-based construction company Albem Operations for the Department of Transport and Main Roads.BMD said the new bridge, which stands five metres higher than the previous crossing, was expected to improve flood immunity during the wet season.It is 30m upstream from the existing Bruce Highway on an improved road alignment.In addition to the bridge construction, the works undertaken to date by the BMD Constructions/Albem JV include 1.5km of new highway, three major banks of relief culverts, upgrades to Mayers, Griffin and Mill streets, and environmental offsets through collaboration with the Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group. Remaining works include a new connection from Griffin Street to the existing highway, completion of the realignment of the cane railway and improved access to the Greenpatch rest area. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of June 2009, weather permitting.With 90% of the workforce sourced from the local area, training was a high priority for the JV, with 17,182 hours of training clocked over the project duration – over double the contractually required amount. The training program incorporated an additional initiative that saw five local indigenous workers employed as trainees.As a federally funded AusLink project, the new bridge over the Mulgrave River forms part of the $348 million accelerated upgrade package for the Bruce Highway between Cairns and Townsville.

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