The new bridge over Clarence River at Harwood, designed and constructed by ACCIONA together with Ferrovial, opened to traffic on 5 December after the sections adjoining the new bridge were completed.
The new bridge is 1.5 kilometres long and has been designed to retain the much admired heritage of the existing bridge. Its aligned piers and height reflects the height of the existing bridge’s lift bridge. It provides safer, smoother travel for motorists and eliminate the need for highway motorists to stop while the existing bridge is raised for maritime users.
The contract to design and construct the new bridge was awarded to ACCIONA and Ferrovial joint venture in July 2016 for an estimated AU$250 million (€154 million).
The new bridge has been constructed from 144 innovative “U” shaped beams that require 30 percent less concrete compared to “T” shaped beams. The beams, each weighing 168 tonnes, were safely installed using complex manoeuvres. A 750 tonne crane operating from a barge on the river was used to install the last 48 beams that make up the bridge. The profile of the new bridge accommodates a mid-river shipping lane height of 30 metres above the water level.
The design and construction of the new bridge is part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade. The project is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments.
As part of the wider Pacific Highway upgrade, ACCIONA, once again in a consortium with Ferrovial, built a 19.5 kilometre section of road between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads. This section of road opened to traffic in 2018.