News and Events

Australia's longest bridge opens

Celia Choong Celia Choong Senior Marketing Consultant,Singapore
28 March 2013

The $618 million, federally funded Kempsey Bypass, which boasts Australia's longest bridge, has opened – 15 months ahead of schedule.

Arup was the design consultant for the design and construction phases of the 3.2km Macleay River and Floodplain Bridge. The bridge forms a part of the Kempsey to Eungai Pacific Highway Upgrade Project.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the completion of this major project means faster, safer journeys for holiday-makers and is another major step forward in the ongoing upgrade and duplication of the Pacific Highway.

“The remarkable speed at which this new section of highway was built is a tribute to the expertise and hard work of all those involved, particularly the contractors and their many workers,” said Mr Albanese. “The scale of this engineering project is highlighted by the fact that the new 3.2km bridge which has been erected over the Macleay River and nearby floodplains now holds the title of Australia's longest bridge.”

“During the construction phase the project created some 360 direct and 1,100 indirect jobs”, NSW Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay said.

“The completed project allows motorists to bypass Kempsey and Frederickton, saving them both time and money. The Kempsey Bypass is a 14.5km-long, divided four-lane highway with grade separated intersections at South Kempsey and Frederickton,” said Mr Gay.

As well as constructing Australia's longest bridge, the project also involved some 1.4 million cubic metres of earthworks and the building of nine smaller bridge structures for interchanges, small creek crossings, local road overpasses and a crossing of the main north south rail line.

Arup provided the civil, hydrology, scour assessments, geotechnical, foundation and bridge design services for this project and the provision of construction phase services.

Our design included an innovative approach in use of tendered steel tubular piles to eliminate pile caps and significant reduction in driven steel pile diameters required for all 82 pier locations on the floodplain. This innovation alone resulted in a significant reduction in both construction costs and time for delivery" James Naylor, Principal, Arup Australia.