Funding from the Queensland Government is going towards replacing 18 timber rail bridges between Townsville and Cairns.
Minister for Transport Mark Bailey said the project would provide a welcome boost to the North Queensland construction industry, with upcoming opportunities to tender for the package of work.
“Queensland Rail will host an industry briefing for local businesses in Townsville on 26 April and in Cairns on 27 April, to talk through the upcoming tenders,” Mr Bailey said.
“The three tender packages will be grouped according to the height of the bridges and the complexity of the replacement works.
“Following the release of the tenders this month, we anticipate that the works will commence in September this year, and be progressively completed until late 2020.”
Queensland Rail Chief Executive Officer Nick Easy said the bridges, which are located south of Cardwell to El Arish, would be replaced with steel and concrete structures.
“The elimination of these old timber bridges from the North Coast line will significantly improve the reliability of the line, and reduce required maintenance,” Mr Easy said.
“The timber bridges currently require a high level of maintenance, due to the landscape of the area which is often subject to conditions such as flooding, alongside large outlays associated with the maintenance works and timber sourcing.
“The upgrade works will not only be a more cost-effective solution in the long-term, but improve the overall safety and reliability of our network.”
“We are committed to providing our customers with a safe and reliable rail network, and improving our infrastructure through future-proofing initiatives such as the replacement of these timber bridges.”