WA Fitzroy River Low-Level Crossing to Open Before Easter

Work on the first temporary Fitzroy River low-level crossing, a five metre-wide 200 metre-long, single-lane rock causeway, has been completed and will open to four-wheel-drive vehicles tomorrow (Monday April 3) at 10am.

The crossing has been constructed with more than 10,000 tonnes of rock and with steel pipes donated by BHP. It will initially provide access for four-wheel-drive vehicles only. Access may be expanded to heavier vehicles, such as single-axle trucks and tourist buses, pending ongoing conditions on the ground.

Work will soon start on a second temporary crossing suitable for higher traffic volumes and larger vehicles that are expected over the upcoming dry season. The two-lane, temporary low-level crossing, located approximately 150 metres upstream from the flood-damaged Fitzroy River Bridge, will have sealed approaches, catering for freight vehicles, caravans, campers and pedestrians.

If river conditions continue to recede, Main Roads anticipates the second low-level crossing will be operational in May 2023.

Design work for the new Fitzroy River Bridge is progressing well. Early site works remain on track to begin in April 2023, subject to weather conditions and the resolution of environmental and heritage issues.

The new bridge is scheduled to be operational by mid-2024. Both the temporary low-level crossing and the new Fitzroy River Bridge are being jointly funded by the Albanese and McGowan Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The ferry service for passengers across the Fitzroy River will continue to operate while river conditions permit. 

For more information visit:
Kimberley Flood Response | Main Roads Western Australia

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the second low-level crossing would provide a vital connection for the Kimberley region.

“The destruction of the Fitzroy River Bridge has isolated much of the West Kimberley and cut off the East Kimberley, a major agricultural region, from its supply centres and markets in Perth for at least five months.

“The Albanese and McGowan Governments are working together to support communities impacted by supply chain interruptions by rebuilding this low-level crossing and through a $42 million ongoing freight assistance package” Minister Watt said.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King said this is an important step on the way to recovery.

“The devastation caused by flooding was simply extraordinary.

“Reconnecting the community is an important part of recovery and the start of the work to that will allow freight to move again and reconnect supply chains” Minister King said.

WA Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti MLA said road construction crews had been working through difficult conditions since the Kimberley flooding associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie, to help restore connectivity for communities across the Kimberley.

“Right from the start, our reconstruction crews have been working tirelessly to reconnect the Kimberley after the unprecedented flooding and damage caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.

“We understand the level of disruption that has been caused by the loss of the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge, and this new low-level crossing is another important step in reconnecting the Kimberley and its communities” Minister Saffioti said.

WA Minister for Emergency Services Stephen Dawson MLC said construction of the temporary low-level crossings was a critical part of the ongoing recovery efforts.

“Connecting communities and restoring transport routes is vital to ensuring we can maintain the momentum of the recovery process.

“Construction of these low-level crossings will enable people to safely travel across the river in vehicles while easing some of the pressure on supply chains during the dry season” Minister Dawson said.

2 APRIL 2023

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