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19 October, 2020

Archer River bridge due by 2022: TMR

Archer River bridge due by 2022: TMR Weipa


CAPE York residents should only have to wait two more wet seasons before the Archer River becomes flood-proof.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads confirmed to Cape York Weekly that work is due to start on the bridge at Archer River next year.

“We are progressing planning for a new bridge over Archer River as part of the Cape York Regional Package Stage 2,” a TMR spokesperson said last week.

“Works are expected to start in late 2021 and take about 12 months, weather permitting.”

The bridge will be built adjacent to the current causeway, meaning that traffic should not be impacted as a result of the construction.

This was confirmed by the TMR spokesperson.

“Access will be maintained during construction to minimise impacts on motorists,” they said.

“We will provide further details about the project as planning progresses.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said building a new bridge over the Archer River was one of the centrepieces in the next five-year package of works the state government was delivering for Cape York.

“The new bridge will be a 225- metre structure that is nine metres high, so it will be a significant improvement to the low-lying causeway that’s there now,” the MP said last week.

“This is a $35 million project and the good thing for the Cape is the funding is there because both the state and federal governments have locked it into their budgets.

“Almost 3km of the Peninsula Developmental Road on the southern approach heading past the Archer River Roadhouse will also be sealed as part of the project.

“TMR has started its cultural heritage and environmental assessments in May and I believe most of that work is done.”

PDR WORKS CREATE JOBS

THE upgrade of the Peninsula Developmental Road is delivering economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

TMR director-general Neil Scales said the Cape York Regional Package Stage 2 was providing significant opportunities for Indigenous participation, including training and upskilling.

“Under CYRP Stage 1, more than 152,000 hours of training was delivered to Indigenous workers,” he said.

“A further $237.5 million is being invested through CYRP Stage 2 between 2019-20 and 2023-24 to continue progressively upgrading the PDR and improve community access roads.

“CYRP Stage 2 will continue the outstanding work on the Cape and deliver a broad range of direct, indirect and ongoing benefits for communities.”

Mr Scales said a key focus of the package was to provide training and employment for Indigenous people and contracting opportunities for local businesses.

“Training delivered as part of the upgrade has included plant operations, road building and line marking,” he said.

“This package of works is equipping Cape York job seekers with valuable skills.

“It’s a fantastic result when trainees can work alongside experienced operators and professionals, learning on-the-job skills on one of the region’s most significant public infrastructure projects.

“We’re also developing a skilled pool of workers who can take advantage of the many opportunities on the Cape in mining, civil construction and infrastructure maintenance.”

RoadTek training coordinator Luke Threlfall has overseen the training, recently working with registered training organisations and Coen-based Indigenous business Kalan Enterprises.

“An important part of road building is ensuring operators work to the required standards,” Mr Threlfall said.

“Operating machinery is one aspect, but we also need to ensure trainees have the technical skills to build and maintain roads which can withstand the environment.

“This project is providing local people with a fantastic opportunity to gain these skills and hone their civil construction techniques, right in their own backyard.

“It’s very special to see the trainees progress through their training to the stage where they can become proficient in their chosen profession.”

CYRP Stage 2 is jointly funded under the Roads of Strategic Importance program, with the federal government contributing $190 million and the state $47.5 million.


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