Tenders will be released this month for a $46 million State Government project to replace 18 timber rail bridges between Townsville and Cairns.
The work is expected to improve rail safety and longevity, while supporting up to 120 jobs for the local construction industry.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said Queensland Rail would host industry briefings for local businesses in Townsville and Cairns.
“The three tender packages will be grouped according to the height of the bridges and the complexity of the replacement works,” he said.
“Following the release of the tenders this month, we anticipate that the works will commence in September this year, and be progressively completed until late 2020.”
Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said the bridges, which are located south of Cardwell to El Arish, would be replaced with steel and concrete structures.
“The elimination of these old timber bridges from the North Coast line will significantly improve the reliability of the line, and reduce required maintenance,” Mr Easy said.
“The timber bridges currently require a high level of maintenance, due to the landscape of the area which is often subject to conditions such as flooding, alongside large outlays associated with the maintenance works and timber sourcing.
“The upgrade works will not only be a more cost-effective solution in the long-term, but improve the overall safety and reliability of our network.”
The briefing session dates are:
- Townsville – Wednesday, May 2, at 10am – Mercure Hotel on the Lakes
- Cairns – Thursday, May 3, at 10am – Portsmith Depot