Cover of Restoration of the Kimberley Rail Bridge
Restoration of the Kimberley Rail Bridge
  • Publication no: ABC2017-023-17
  • Published: 20 April 2017

Kimberley Rail Bridge, which spans the Mersey River in Tasmania, is one of the critical pieces of rail infrastructures on TasRail’s freight network. The heritage listed bridge was severely damaged during what has been considered as one of Tasmania’s worst flood events in June 2016.

The restoration of the failed abutment and its adjacent span occurred within six weeks of the flood event, and allowed a return to normal freight services on the critical North-West rail link, while preserving the bridge’s heritage value. The speedy design of the half-through steel bridge and material procurement was complemented by thorough initial investigation of the collapsed structure to try understand the key heritage characteristics of the bridge, while ensuring that the restored structure conformed to current bridge standards.

The open and clear collaboration between the designers, contractor and asset owner was key in ensuring that around-the-clock restoration work was expeditiously delivered despite the subsequent challenging weather conditions that persisted after the flood event.