Originally publish on Ipswich First in April 2020

A new single-lane, steel bridge on Ripley Road is nearing completion with the structure lifted into place earlier this month.

A 220 tonne capacity crane was brought in to install two 22 tonne girders that were constructed offsite to expedite the project’s delivery.

The lifts went smoothly and were followed by the installation of smaller cross beams and bridge deck plates.

The finishing touches to the project will be added in the coming weeks, with the bridge set to open at the end of April.

Replacing the original Ripley Road Bridge was necessary because the previous timber structure, built in the 1940s, was at the end of its lifespan.

The original timber bridge was in very poor condition and required a 4T load limit, however some motorists were not adhering to the limit meaning the bridge had to be closed for community safety.

Infrastructure and Environment General Manager Charlie Dill said the new interim bridge would have significant benefits for the community.

“Replacing the bridge with a structure of the same length and width was more cost effective than rehabilitating the old one,” he said.

“This interim bridge will provide for the community now and importantly, allow for flexibility into the future.

“Council chose to use a modular, steel bridge design which means that the girders and deck can be reused when future road upgrade works are undertaken in the area and the bridge is ultimately upgraded.

“This will allow council to repurpose the bridge when the time comes; it might be in a permanent location or another temporary arrangement similar to this one.”

Watch part of the bridge being installed

Mr Dill said as well as benefiting motorists, the new bridge was better for the environment.

“The design is single span whereas the previous timber bridge was two spans. This means a set of piles in the centre of the creek have been removed, which improves water flow and removes a potential blockage point in the event of a flood,” he said.

About 500 vehicles use the bridge each day.