Freight carriers, tourists and the local community can now take advantage of the new two-lane bridge that aims to provide greater accessibility and safety on the Great Northern Highway.
The old single lane bridge was built in 1965 and suffered from being overtopped by flood waters, cutting off the only sealed access between Broome and Wyndham.
With the completion of the 249 metre, high-level concrete bridge, the crossing is more resilient to floods to help keep freight moving efficiently across northern Australia.
Around 2.3 kilometres of highway was realigned as part of the project, along with high level road embankments and a new sealed parking area.
After consulting with the local Warmun community, 80 per cent of the old bridge is being retained given its importance to the local community.
A significant proportion of the project’s workforce and suppliers were Aboriginal people from within the region. One Aboriginal team member who worked on the new bridge was also part of the original team that constructed the old bridge more than 50 years ago.
The project was jointly funded by an investment of $30.79 million from the Federal Government and an investment of $7.7 million from the WA Government.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Aboriginal participation was a large focus of the project, with total labour hours worked by local and non-local Aboriginal people consistently exceeding 30 per cent.
“This work forms part of the WA Government’s new Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which requires all government agencies to award a percentage of contracts each year to registered Aboriginal businesses,” Ms Saffioti
“Main Roads WA has been a lead agency in the exploration of opportunities for progressing Aboriginal employment and engagement initiatives.
“The old Bow River Bridge was well known for flooding resulting in Great Northern Highway – the only sealed access between Broome and Wyndham – being cut off and creating delays for freight operators,” she said.