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Overview

Summary

Noah Creek Bridge is located on the Cape Tribulation Road between Cape Tribulation and Thornton Beach and was built by the US Army Corp of Engineers during the Second World War.

It is now in poor condition, currently rated at ‘4’ under Department of Transport guidelines and is due for replacement.

There are three main elements to the project:

  1. Construction of the new bridge.
  2. Realignment of the existing Cape Tribulation Road to provide approaches to the new bridge.
  3. Decommissioning and removal of the existing bridge, road pavement of previous approaches and re-vegetation of all areas.

Vehicle access across Noah Creek will be maintained throughout the construction process.

Cost of Project

Council was successful in securing 75% of the estimated total project cost under the Federal Government’s, Building Better Regions Fund.

Of the estimated total project costs of $1.5 million, $1.125 million will be provided by the Federal Government with Council contributing the balance of $375,000.

Project Updates

MARCH, 2022

All the land on the southern approach to Noah Creek necessary to construct the new bridge has been secured.

Council secured an agreement in principle with the Department of Environment and Science for the northern land purchase of a portion of the Daintree National Park. As this land is part of the Daintree National Park, the land transfer must undergo a significant greater amount of regulatory and legal actions than a typical freehold land sale would require. At this stage, no time frame can be given, but it will be months.

All environmental approvals, including those with Wet Tropics have been finalised.

Council is continuing its negotiations with Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation to resolve outstanding issues and it is hope these will be finalised within weeks.

It unlikely that construction will occur in 2022, but in the interim, Council officers continue to review possible opportunities that may become available and have increased the frequency of inspections. During recent heavy use as a result of construction projects, increased surveillance of the bridge integrity was done with no detrimental effects noted, during or after completion of the projects. Temporary structural improvements consisting of steel bracing which was installed in 2017 to improve the capacity of the bridge continues to provide this function well.

A start date for construction is unknown, however construction is estimated to take 200 days. The Douglas Shire Council and the contractor NQ Civil Contractors remain committed to the project.

JULY, 2021

As advised earlier, NQ Civil Contractors have completed the final design of the bridge as well as an Environment Management Plan, Project Quality Plan and Safety Management Plan. There may be minor changes to the road alignment in light of cultural heritage aspects, but essentially a new bridge will be built upstream of the existing bridge which will remain in use until the new bridge is commissioned.

The majority of the precast concrete elements (e.g. decks, headstocks and abutments) have been manufactured and are in storage.

As the project is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, a permit is required and an application has been lodged with the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Because the road realignment requires extension of the Road Reserve into the Daintree National Park, Council has been liaising with the relevant Queensland State Government agencies as well as Traditional Owner groups with regard to Native Title. Douglas Shire Council will need to purchase a sliver of land and this has been approved in principal by the relevant minister. Prior to the sale proceeding, Parliamentary Approval is required. The Department of Environment and Science cannot provide a timeframe for this to occur.

A start date for construction is unknown, however construction is estimated to take 200 days. The Douglas Shire Council and the contractor NQ Civil Contractors remain committed to the project.

JANUARY, 2020

NQ Civil Contractors have completed the final design of the bridge as well as an Environment Management Plan, Project Quality Plan and Safety Management Plan.

The majority of the precast concrete elements (e.g. decks, headstocks and abutments) have been manufactured.

As the project is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, a permit is required and an application has been lodged with the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Because the road realignment requires extension of the Road Reserve into the Daintree National Park, Council has been liaising with the relevant Queensland State Government agencies as well as Traditional Owner groups with regard to Native Title.

Construction is estimated to take 200 days and is expected to commence in the mid to latter half of 2020, subject to receipt of environmental approvals.

MAY, 2019

Council has received the preliminary design from NQ Civil Contractors.

The proposal is to build a new crossing upstream of the existing bridge, which is located on Cape Tribulation Road, between Thornton Beach and Cape Tribulation (27 km by road north from the Daintree ferry and 9 km south of Cape Tribulation).

Details of the proposed new bridge:

  • The new crossing will be a two lane bridge with capability for vehicles only and no pedestrians access will be provided.
  • It will be built from concrete with steel barrier rails.
  • The crossing’s flood immunity will be increased from approximately 1 in 10 year (10% chance of flooding per year) to a 1 in 100 year (1% chance).
  • The existing bridge will remain in use until the new bridge is opened so it is anticipated there will be minimal impact to road users.
  • Current weight restrictions will remain in place for the old bridge.
  • The old bridge will be removed to stream bed level once new bridge is in use.

By way of timing, once the preliminary design has been reviewed by Council engineers, it will be submitted to the various authorities for approval.

The next stage in the project is for the contractor to obtain the required environmental approvals. Until all the permits are in place, a definite schedule cannot be provided.

SEPTEMBER, 2018

Geo technical investigations were conducted and Council has awarded the design and construct contract to NQ Civil Contractors Pty Ltd.

Enquiries & Updates

For more information or to register for updates, please contact Gaye Scott on 0418 793 009 or gaye.scott@douglas.qld.gov.au

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