The Design & Construction of the Theresa Creek Rail Bridge was part of the 22 Rail Bridge Replacements contract for Queensland Rail. The Theresa Creek Rail Bridge is just 13km from Emerald in outback Central West Queensland. The Theresa Creek Rail Bridge is 40m long and 8m high. Each approach was required to be lifted by 1m to enhance the rail profile.
The replacement of this - and the other 21 rail bridges within this contract - has ensured the continuous service of trains to these remote country towns, securing the financial futures of many outback citizens. The existing timber bridge had become degraded and needed replacing. The rail alignment was also corrected during the placement of the new precast concrete bridge.
The existing timber bridge was replaced with a precast concrete bridge with steel piers. The VEC design stipulated prefabricated steel piers to save time and to enable the construction to be completed within a shorter time-frame. Typically, steel piles are placed directly onto the cross-head; however, due to the flood loads and the height of these piers, VEC place a precast pile cap and prefabricated steel piers. The pile caps were placed before the occupation period. The steel fabricated piers were position as soon as the existing bridge was demolised. The precast headstocks were supplied by HUMES.
In the redesign phase of this project, it became evident that one of the culverts in the close vicinity of the bridge needed replacing. This was also completed by VEC by means of a variation to the contract.
VEC took the Direct Fix system with Pandrol plates, and adjusted the design for the Pandrol plates to be fixed directly to the precast, prestressed voided plank, with a direct fix rail onto these beams.
The structural depth was reduced by ~400mm, allowing the rail to remain at its’ current level, without reducing the waterways below the beams. Between the direct fix rail, VEC used precast concrete guard rails, giving the structures very clean and flowing lines which looked slim and attractive.
The Direct Fix was also integrated in the guardrail of the Alice River Rail Bridge. The VEC crew completed rail approach works.
The entire project was completed on time, within budget and with zero safety incidents.
The construction of the embankments at each approach during the closure saw that 2500 tonnes of material was placed.