Sheahan Bridge duplication - completed

The Sheahan Bridge has been duplicated over the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai, immediately upstream of the existing crossing. The $78 million project, funded by the Federal Government and managed by the then Roads and Traffic Authority, was officially opened by Federal Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday 25 May 2009.

Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River
Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River

Background

The Hume Highway is the main freight route between Sydney and Melbourne. It is also a vital transport link for communities and industries in southern New South Wales.

The existing 1.1 kilometre Sheahan Bridge opened to traffic in March 1977. It is a steel box girder structure with a single lane in each direction. Collisions and breakdowns on that bridge have resulted in long traffic delays.

The Federal and New South Wales governments are committed to upgrading the entire length of the Hume Highway to a four lane divided carriageway by 2012.

The duplication of the Sheahan Bridge, which commenced in October 2007, has been an integral part of this program.

Contractors

Design and construction: Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd.

Site management: Professional Engineering Services.

Project features

  • A 1.15 kilometre, two lane southbound bridge over the Murrumbidgee River and floodplain. The existing two lane bridge is then used by northbound traffic
  • 1.5 kilometres of new road approaches connecting with the existing dual carriageway
  • Minor adjustments on the Nangus Road (Gundagai to Junee) Road to provide sufficient clearance between the bridge and the road.

Benefits

  • Improved road safety by separating opposing traffic flows in a high speed environment
  • Improved traffic efficiency by increasing travel speed and providing consistent road conditions to dual carriageway standards
  • Together with the Coolac Bypass, complete dual carriageway on the Hume Highway from Sydney to the Sturt Highway turnoff.

Points of interest

  • Over the floodplain, the bridge comprises 24 spans of concrete T-beams, while the three spans over the Murrumbidgee River consist of balanced cantilever box girder sections
  • The floodplain structure is 960 metres in length and includes 40 metre long pre-stressed concrete T beams. These are amongst the longest to be used in Australia
  • The bridge is comprised of 12,000 cubic metres of structural concrete
  • Approximately 2,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement have been used in the bridge
  • There are 96 pre-stressed girders on the floodplain structure
  • A total of 768 concrete safety barrier panels were prefabricated in Ballarat and transported and erected on the bridge
  • There are 220 kilometres of pre-stressed cables in the girders alone
  • There is an additional 20 kilometres of pre-stressed cable in the balanced cantilever structure.
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