The new Wagga Wagga rail bridge across the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga was officially opened today by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services the Hon Mark Vaile.
The new rail bridge forms an important part of the $2.4 billion rail investment program of the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) and the Australian government for the North South rail corridor.
“The construction of the new Wagga Wagga rail bridge will contribute substantial benefits to the efficiency of the North South rail corridor by reducing both transit times and bridge maintenance costs and through increasing the reliability of the network.” David Marchant Chief Executive of ARTC said.
“The removal of the long standing 20 km speed restriction across the bridge will now allow speeds to be maintained at 80km per hour over the entire 8 km section from Wagga to Bomen.” David Marchant said
The replacement of the old bridge took place over a major around the clock construction period during a 4 day shut down of the Main South rail line from 5 am on 30 December 2006 to 5 am 3 January 2007.
Construction methods over the 6 month period involved the pre stressed bridge deck being constructed off site in Newcastle and being lifted into place onto the new substructure during the 4 day period by huge 500 and 600 tonne cranes working on a 24 hour basis.
The new bridge built at a total cost of $17 million was an ARTC managed project The main contractor was Arenco (NSW) Pty Limited.
ARTC has a current 3 year $700 million rail upgrade investment program on the Main South line from Sydney to Melbourne to deliver increased market share to rail. The largest general freight market in Australia is 11 million tonnes between Melbourne and Sydney.
23 January 2006
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