Richmond River Bridge Milestone Achieved

The last girder has been installed on the new bridge over the Richmond River at Broadwater as part of the 155-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina.

Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of The Nationals and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the installation represented a momentous achievement.

“Throughout the nation, the Liberal and Nationals’ Government is investing in the infrastructure and services Australians need to get home sooner and safer and to boost productivity, especially in regional Australia,” Mr McCormack said.

“The placement of the final girder is a significant and positive milestone to end the year on.

“The new bridge, the second-longest of 170 bridges on the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade, provides a critical link for the 155 kilometres of new dual carriageway and I am glad to see it getting closer to completion.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said the bridge was made up of 234 girders.

“Since the first girder was lifted in March 2018, the project team has made impressive progress to successfully install all 234 girders, weighing 80 tonnes each,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Not only are we delivering a more safery journey for all road users, the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade has delivered more than 3000 jobs.”

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the mode of construction was an Australian-first.

“This is the first time a bridge this wide has been built in Australia with a single precast headstock, meaning that there is a shell for each column to support the load of the girders,” Mr Hogan said.

“This has reduced the need for temporary construction work, eliminating 20,000 hours of working, which has not only saved time but also improved safety for workers.”

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, said the project team would be using 43,000 tonnes of concrete, 3,500 tonnes of asphalt and 2,500 tonnes of steel to build the bridge.

“Piling work was completed earlier this year and the bridge deck is already more than 70 per cent complete,” Mr Franklin said.

“The bridge will be a unique visual landmark, creating a new connection between the Richmond Valley and Ballina Shire councils.”

NSW Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, said more than 75 per cent of about 8,500 precast concrete pieces being used to build 170 bridges on the upgrade had now been successfully delivered
to site.

“About 530 kilometres (81 per cent) of the final 657-kilometre length of the Pacific Highway between Hexham, near Newcastle, and the Queensland border is now four-lane divided highway, while the
remainder is under construction,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The new bridge over the Richmond River at Broadwater will open to traffic in 2020, weather permitting.

“This project – and the upgrades all along the Pacific Highway – are only made possible because the Liberals and Nationals working together in State and Federal Governments made it a priority and funded the investment to make it safer.”

The $4.3 billion Pacific Highway – Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade has been jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, with the Australian Government committing up to $3.46 billion and the NSW Government committing the remainder.

The NSW and Federal Liberal & Nationals Governments are investing historic funds to build a fourlane divided road between Hexham and the Queensland border by 2020.

For video footage of the last girder life click here: