Following the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Ellie a significant amount of damage was caused in the Fitzroy Crossing area where an estimated 100 homes were left uninhabitable.
The amount of rainfall during the Wet Season (November to April) often causes localised flooding in the Kimberley, however this year the extreme weather caused an enormous impact to the area and it became imperative the road infrastructure be restored quickly to help the communities.
The Martuwarra Fitzroy River and its catchment area was badly affected, with damage to the road infrastructure in Fitzroy Crossing, the Gibb River Road and parts of the Great Northern Highway.
At the time of the flooding, the KEE hire team were ready to help, and immediately swung into action sending urgent equipment to the region. With the help of Dale Smulders from Hitachi, KEE Hire were able to settle and collect one of the new Bell B45E Dump Trucks within 24 hours and KEE Transport soon had the required machinery delivered.
Due to the amount of destruction from the flooding, a new bridge will be constructed at Fitzroy Crossing. The long-term rebuild of the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge will involve lengthening and widening the bridge, with site work expected to start in May 2023 and completion planned for the end of 2024 in time for the 2024/25 wet season.
Georgiou Group Pty Ltd, BMD Constructions Pty Ltd, and BG&E Pty Ltd were awarded the contract to construct the new bridge and they will join WA Main Roads to form the Fitzroy Bridge Alliance.
In addition to restoring the connection between the east and west Kimberley, the bridge replacement project will see significant investment in the region’s economy. The Alliance will be engaging with local suppliers, Traditional Owners, and local Aboriginal Corporations to maximise local employment and business opportunities and ensure the project is undertaken in a culturally appropriate way.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said,“Communities across the Kimberley are still reeling from the impacts of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie, with the damage caused to vital roads and infrastructure keenly felt on a daily basis.”
Main Roads and local shire contractors are working incredibly hard to help those affected by the flooding. KEE Hire and KEE Transport have already delivered twelve machines to assist with the re-build and look forward to working alongside the alliance until completion in 2025.
You can stay up to date with the latest news on the road recovery effort by visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au
source: WA Government/ Main Roads