Repair and construction works to Cox’s Creek Bridge just south of Boggabri is progressing ahead of schedule and ARTC now plans to return the bridge and track to service on the afternoon of 20 December, an ARTC spokesperson said today.
Despite the significant damage caused to the bridge, a quarantine period for safety investigations to take place, and removal of the wagons, ARTC expects to be able to return the bridge to service five days earlier than previously forecast, weather dependent.
“It is a sizeable repair and construction job but thanks to the team on the ground and the good weather, we have been making steady progress,” the ARTC spokesperson said.
“We’ve been acutely aware of the interest in returning the rail line to service as soon as possible, and the ability to bring forward the expected timeframe is a testament to the hard work of the engineering and construction team at the site.
“Scaffolding is up around a number of the piers of the bridge, concrete has been poured and it is currently going through a curing process for it to strengthen over the next few days,” the spokesperson said.
“Structurally, some piers were damaged quite badly and as a result, four piers had to be demolished and reconstructed from the ground up.
“We have also built up the embankment at the City-end of the bridge with additional rock base – this process was completed yesterday evening.”
There is over 40 staff on site involved with construction works to the bridge along with additional contractors and heavy equipment including 30 tonne excavators, 30 tonne dump trucks, a 100 tonne crane, a pin jib crane and elevated work platform (scissor lift). Six watercarts are also in operation to help minimise dust.
“The project team are really pleased to be able to return the train line five days ahead of schedule. They recognise just how important it is for our customers and the community that their freight gets back onto rail.
“The community have been very patient with the traffic and construction activity in their area and we are pleased to be able to restore freight transport well before Christmas,” the spokesperson said.
Above: General view of country-end of works at Cox’s Creek Bridge reconstruction – scaffolding in place and concrete has been poured. An all-weather access road that has been built is in the foreground of the picture.
Above: General view of rock and geogrid placement at the City-end of Cox’s Creek Bridge.