Final look for new bridge

THE final plans for the new Bridgewater Bridge have been released after three years of design development and consultation. Once complete, the project will remove the notorious bottlenecks at each end of the bridge, providing the 22,000 vehicles that use the bridge each day with “free-flowing access’’ to the Brooker Highway, Lyell Highway and Midland Highway. Following the announcement of McConnell Dowell as the preferred tenderer late last year, the construction contractor has spent 2022 undertaking design-specific site investigations and planning to determine final plans.

Community consultation and feedback from local residents, businesses, commuters, councils and interest groups has, according to authorities, helped shape the final plans for the new four-lane bridge.

Based on feedback, the new bridge will include access from the Brooker Highway to the Lyell Highway, a direct connection from Bridgewater on to the new bridge and a traffic-calming and bus-turning facility at the bottom of Old Main Road in Bridgewater to improve public transport access through the areas.

A new roundabout will connect to the Black Snake Road underpass with a dedicated slip lane allowing traffic from the Lyell Highway to flow uninterrupted on to the Brooker Highway and a three-metre-wide shared path will allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross safely. Work is already underway on-site including vegetation removal and clearing, land reclamation work on the northern and southern shores and preparation for the construction of a temporary bridge to assist in the construction of the main bridge.

State Growth says construction will support about 830 jobs including the creation of more than 200 new jobs for locals which it says will deliver an important boost to the local economy.

As work on the project ramps up over coming months drivers are asked to plan their journey when travelling through the area, follow the posted speed limit and obey the instructions of traffic controllers. The new bridge is on track to be open to traffic by the end of 2024, with the project to be completed in mid-2025.

The final plans for the new bridge and interchanges can be viewed at the project’s Community Display Centre at 28-40 Old Main Road, Bridgewater between 9am and 5pm each weekday until Friday, December 16.