Demolition of Western Australia's flood-damaged Fitzroy River Bridge is now underway, paving the way for the construction of a new, stronger bridge to begin.
A new temporary construction causeway is being built immediately north of the bridge site, which will provide work crews with uninterrupted access.
The temporary construction causeway is being built adjacent to the near-completed second low-level crossing for public traffic.
Both the second temporary low-level crossing and the new Fitzroy River Bridge are being jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Construction of the new bridge will begin with the installation of steel and concrete piles.
Each pile will be driven into the riverbed to depths of between 30 and 40 metres, resulting in the new bridge that will be around six times stronger than the old one.
The new bridge will follow the same alignment as the existing bridge, with modifications and enhanced flood protection works made to sections of the Great Northern Highway on either side.
As construction ramps up, the project will continue to create employment, contracting and training opportunities for the local community.
At the end of April, more than six million dollars had been committed to Aboriginal-owned businesses, and the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance is working with business development and training organisations to seek interest from individuals and businesses in the Kimberley region who are seeking to participate in the project.
The new Fitzroy River Bridge is scheduled to be operational before the 2024/25 wet season.
You can stay up to date with the latest news on the road recovery effort by visiting Main Roads Western Australia's website.
Comments attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management, and Acting Minister for Infrastructure, Murray Watt:
"The Fitzroy Crossing Bridge is a vital piece of infrastructure for North-West Australia, and the permanent reconstruction of this bridge will make it easier for the businesses and communities that rely on the road network to travel and receive goods, relieving supply chain issues and unlocking opportunities for the north of the State after these events."
"It's critical to the town of Fitzroy Crossing and the East Kimberley, together with the freight industry and all those businesses and communities who rely on the road network in the north of the State, and we will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with the McGowan Government to provide the appropriate support to progress this project.
"To reach this key stage in such a logistically challenging project, just five months after the cyclone hit the Kimberley, is an outstanding achievement and I look forward to seeing this important piece of infrastructure taking shape in the months ahead."
Comments attributable to WA Minister for Planning, the Hon Rita Saffioti MLA:
"With the wet season behind us, Main Roads and the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance have hit the ground running to prepare for the construction of the new bridge.
"Along with progress on the ground, we are starting to see the project create economic opportunities for the local community. In recent months the Alliance team have established partnerships with local Aboriginal Corporations and service providers to ensure that the project maximises opportunities for local people seeking to gain skills in the construction industry and related service industries."
Comments attributable to WA Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC:
"The Fitzroy River Bridge is a critical piece of public infrastructure connecting the West and East Kimberley, and the milestone reached today means we are one step closer to a wider and stronger bridge for many years to come.
"The State Government continues to work closely with the Australian Government to ensure joint disaster funding is made available to support the recovery from the Kimberley floods."
Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 5800