Fitzgerald Bridge, Aberdeen, NSW Fitzgerald Bridge, Aberdeen, NSW Fitzgerald Bridge, Aberdeen, NSW Fitzgerald Bridge, Aberdeen, NSW Fitzgerald Bridge, Aberdeen, NSW

Fitzgerald Bridge Over Hunter River, Aberdeen NSW

Featuring the RECo TerraPlus® System

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General Information

The Fitzgerald Bridge is located on the New England Highway in Aberdeen, approximately 13 kilometers north of Muswellbrook. The crossing previously consisted of two separate bridge structures for south and northbound traffic. The southbound bridge, which was built in 1893, is a metal lattice truss bridge that has become too narrow and structurally inadequate for modern day transport vehicles. The northbound bridge, built in 1986, is currently only wide enough for a single lane. The Fitzgerald Bridge lies on a key transport corridor between Muswellbrook and Tamworth, and due to recent increases in mass limits on this route, it was decided a new two lane bridge was needed to service the 8,500 vehicles that use the crossing daily. The southbound bridge will be kept as a pedestrian and cycle path due to its heritage significance. The existing northbound bridge will be demolished once the new bridge has been completed.

The benefits of the new bridge include: facilitating for a higher mass limit route between Muswellbrook and Tamworth improving the productivity of the road freight transport system; serviceability and design life of 100 years; ability to withstand a 1 in 100 year flood; pier arrangement to promote the use of the river by kayakers; improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new bridge required an approach ramp on the south side, as well as piled bridge abutments on both the north and south sides of the Hunter River. The new abutment walls on both sides of the river needed to key in to an existing sandstone retaining wall which currently forms part of the abutment on the existing northbound bridge. The Reinforced Earth Company was engaged for the design and supply of the reinforced soil structures, and their TerraPlus® system was chosen for the project.

Nelmac Constructions and Piling were chosen by RMS as the head contractors for the project. Their scope involved the construction of the new bridge and approximately 0.7km of approach road works. Nelmac subcontracted Bolte Civil the earthworks component of the project, and Retaining Solutions were engaged by Bolte Civil for the installation of the reinforced soil walls. Retaining Solutions scope involved the installation of the RECo TerraPlus™ panels, REHas soil reinforcing strips, non-woven geotextile to all horizontal & vertical joints and spreading and compaction of imported RSW select backfill.

Retaining Solutions produces with every wall complete, full quality documentation including Inspection & Test Plans, Daily Quality Verification Checklists and detailed daily site diaries detailing operations and overall checks carried out over the duration of the wall construction from levelling pad placement to installation of finishing panels and associated draping of REHas to ensure adequate coverage below services/ crash barrier footings. This level of documentation proved to be beneficial to both the developer/owner and Retaining Solutions.

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Project Specs

  • Application - Piled Bridge Abutments & Approach Ramp
  • Product - RECo TerraPlus® System
  • Finish - Riverstone Exposed Aggregate
  • Area - 391m2
  • Max. Height - 5.4m
  • Length - 116m
  • Loadings - 25kPa | Crash Barrier
  • Design life - 100 years
  • Owner - RMS
  • Specification - RMS R57 & R58
  • Client - Bolte Civil P/L
  • Construction - 1 months

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