- First of four arch components being hoisted into place today
- Project reaches critical stage, with arches to be hoisted during April
- 250 local jobs created by bringing stadium bridge project back to WA
- River closures to be in place for arch and deck installation
Construction of the locally-made Matagarup Bridge has reached its most critical stage, with the first of four steel arch components being hoisted into place today.
The first arch component measures 100 metres by 25 metres and is being lifted into position by multiple cranes from the pier closest to Optus Stadium in Burswood.
This arch component is one of the two smaller arches that form the outside of the bridge. The other small arch component is currently under construction on the East Perth side of the Swan River.
Meanwhile, the two large 'wishbone' components that will form the central arch are now assembled and sitting on the towers beside the bridge piers, where the construction team is continuing the final fit-out of stairs and handrails.
Other specialist equipment has also now arrived on site, including mobile trailers that will be used to move the 120 metre-long wishbones off the temporary towers they are sitting on, and two large barges, which will be used to float the wishbones into position for lifting.
The three remaining arch components are scheduled to be hoisted into place in April, while installation of the decks are set to follow in May.
To create a safe lifting environment for the installation of the arches and deck, the navigation channel in the river will need to be closed, starting on Wednesday, April 4. The closures will be in place for up to eight weeks, as announced last Sunday.
The period between the navigation channel closure and the first over river lift will be used to fit-out and load the barges on the river, which will be anchored and stabilised using a complex web of steel cables across the navigation channel.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"This has been a remarkable effort by the local workers to get the project to this very momentous and critical stage.
"To put this in perspective, local industry only started fabricating the 50 arch modules and 22 deck components in September. They have delivered more in six months than the previous government's overseas arrangement did in 18 months.
"Over the next two months, we can expect to see all of the hard work behind the scenes come to fruition as the arches are lifted into place and the true scale of the bridge is realised.
"Unfortunately, this stage of construction will impact on commercial river operators and recreational boat owners over the coming weeks.
"The closures are necessary for worker and public safety and were part of the original plans when the bridge construction was announced several years ago.
"The re-opening date of the navigation channel will be advertised on Main Roads' website; it is anticipated to be in May."
Minister's office - 6552 5500