New Span for Flood-Damaged Bridge

Photo courtesy TasRail

The Kimberley Railway Bridge in the north of the State will undergo urgent repair works after recent floods destroyed the northern span.

The scour of water flowing through the Mersey River earlier this month caused the concrete abutments to rotate and fall, bringing with them the wrought iron northern span.

The Tasmanian Heritage Council has given TasRail a certificate of exemption to commence the urgent works as soon as possible, which will allow this important transport route to reopen.

Given the unacceptable risks of using the same abutment location, or the damaged span, a replacement span will be constructed of similar appearance, but with an additional 5-metre span length to connect the location of the new abutment on the north side of the river. The profile of the side girders are designed to match the height and pattern of the remaining wrought iron spans, but with a bolted and welded construction to increase robustness.

Close up of the Bridge profile

TasRail will recover and store the damaged wrought iron span, for future interpretation.

The Kimberley Railway Bridge heralded an important era in Kimberley’s history, leading to the town’s growth and, when the station and rail services to the town closed in the 1970s, leading to the town’s decline. Today, it continues as a critical transport route, demonstrating its significance to the state’s transport and transportation history.

The replacement span will serve as a reminder of the catastrophic failure and reconstruction of that part of the Kimberley Railway Bridge as a result of the 2016 flood event.

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