Once the construction of the new bridge was completed the traffic could transfer from the old bridge to allow its demolition to commence. This was made possible by building the new bridge on a different alignment to the old bridge, so that traffic disruption was minimised.
As well as being stronger than the old bridge, the new bridge is wider, providing increased safety for the traffic that will use it.
The proximity of the river, township and other properties meant that options were limited for setting up a project office and yard that minimised disruption to residents and traffic. VEC’s site office was on private property to the south east of the bridge. Dedicated access tracks were established on the eastern and western sides early in the project, and a temporary bridge was built over the river, so that plant and worker movements did not impact on highway traffic. The eastern end of the side track accesses St. Pauls Place, a quiet residential road with few properties located on it.
Structurally the bridge has three spans, each of app. 30m, with four beams per span. The Super T beams are each 1500mm deep and 2.4m wide, and weigh over 55t. The beams were cast at VEC’s Ulverstone pre-cast manufacturing facility over a period of 4 months, and transported the 189km to site under escort, with each trip taking around 6 hours.
The 2 piers are founded on rock, with each pier having 2 columns (1500mm dia. x 10m high) and a pre-cast cross head. The wing walls for the abutments were pre-cast in Ulverstone, with the abutment walls cast in situ.
The deck was cast in situ over a period of three weeks, and asphalted laid to provide a wear course prior to the bridge being opened to traffic.
The decision to build on a new alignment resulted in minimal traffic disruption, other than some reduced speed limits around the construction site. Apart from the tie-ins to the existing highway at either end of the bridge, and tie-ins were required to Storys Creek Road and St Pauls Place because of the altered alignment.