Anichs Bridge is a single lane, timber bridge with a rail line running longitudinally through the centre of the bridge deck. The bridge is located on Finlayvale Road 1.3 km from Syndicate Road.
The overall structure of Anichs Bridge is poor. The steel bridge girders and transverse cross braces are significantly corroded, and this has meant reducing the load limit rating to 13 tonnes. This project will see a significant increase in load rating [44T] enabling sugar cane growers to transport cane to the local sugar mill. Harvesting contractors will be able to safely transport heavy machinery such as cane harvesters, tractors and haulage across the creek. Tourist buses and coaches will have safer access to the tourism accommodation resort upstream from the bridge.
Douglas Shire Council’s civil works team will be building the new crossing on the same alignment as the current bridge which was the recommendation of the Ecology Report completed in February 2021.
Given the crossing is the only practical access to 14 properties, a bypass constructed upstream will enable vehicles access and egress during construction.
The height of the new crossing will be 2.5 metres, the same as the existing bridge. The upgrade will not reduce the instance of flooding however, the new structure will be designed to better withstand being inundated and battered with debris. This will speed up the clean-up allowing Anichs Bridge to be re-opened to traffic quicker after disaster events.
The bridge’s useful life will increase from five years to 100 years.
Cost of Project
|Detailed design – spent in 2020-21||$80,000|
|Bridges Renewal Program – construction 2021-22||$440,000|
|Council’s contribution – construction in 2021-22||$440,000|
The project is co-funded by Douglas Shire Council and the Australian Government under the Bridges Renewal Program.
Contractors recently installed 10 piles, each 16.5-metres-long and weighing four tonnes, into the ground for the new Anichs Bridge crossing.
The below time-lapse video shows crews recently installing five bridge piles into the river bed. The height of the new crossing will be 2.5 metres, the same as the existing bridge.
The new structure will be designed to better withstand being inundated and battered with debris.
Two areas of the Mossman River have been selected as part of the Australian Government’s Disaster Relief Funding Arrangement (DRFA) to repair damage done by the monsoon trough event the shire experienced in January and February 2019. The DRFA is joint Commonwealth and State government funding, providing financial assistance to help communities recover from disasters.
One location is about 500 metres upstream from the Foxton Bridge, and the second is near Anich’s Bridge. In both locations, riverbank erosion remediation works will be completed by Neilly Group Engineering in consultation with Terrain NRM.
Ground work was completed earlier this year to identify the condition of the riverbank and the river bed. The planned works will stabilise and rehabilitate areas adversely impacted by the heavy rainfall experience. The scope of work includes excavation to foundation levels and bank reprofiling, placement of rocks on the river bank and the driving of timber pile fields in the river bed. The rocks and the multiple rows of piles are designed to slow down water flow which will reduce erosion when future weather events occur. The final part of the project is to replace top soil on all disturbed areas and revegetate by planting 1,100 native trees across the two sites.
Work will commence later this year.
A temporary bypass has been built from large rocks and thick steel pipes. The bypass is now in use and is designed for heavy vehicles up to 44 tonnes. Decommissioning of the existing bridge has commenced.
The piles have been ordered and are in the process of being manufactured. Delivery on site is expected week commencing 6 September and pile driving is scheduled to occur on 13 and 14 September 2021.