Big crane carries big opportunities for Wide Bay in Gympie bypass project

The largest crane on the east coast of Australia will be used to lift 48 massive concrete bridge girders into place for a new bridge on the Bruce Highway over Tin Can Bay Road, as part of the $1 billion Cooroy to Curra Section D Gympie bypass project.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the giant pre-cast concrete girders would be transported from Brisbane via the Bruce Highway, Brisbane Road, Cootharaba Road, and Tin Can Bay Road to Lockhart Road at Victory Heights.  

“Due to the sheer size of these girders, oversize vehicle permits will be used and they will be transported overnight to minimise disruption to road users,” Mr O’Brien said.

The first batch of 24 girders will be transported between midnight and 6am, from Monday, August 30 to September 7, excluding Friday and Saturday nights, with up to five girders delivered nightly.

Once they are on-site, the girders will be unloaded at night using a 200-tonne crane and stored until the remaining girders are delivered in late September to late October.

“Once all the girders have arrived, the construction crews will set up a 1200-tonne hydraulic crane, which is the biggest on the East Coast, and the girders will be installed overnight during the course of a month, weather permitting,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The equipment used in these works show the sheer scale of the Section D Gympie bypass project, and highlight what a landmark project this is, not just for the Gympie region but through opening up opportunities for all of Wide Bay and Queensland.

“In addition to building a stronger road network and saving lives on the Bruce Highway, these roadworks are already benefiting Wide Bay by supporting 576 jobs throughout construction.”

Due to these works, temporary traffic changes will be in place at Tin Can Bay Road, Victory Heights, and as work progresses between Sandy Creek Road and Curra, drivers should also be aware that changes are being made to Harvey Siding Road, Tamaree Road, Bannister Road, and the intersection of North Deep Creek Road and Sandy Creek Road.

Electronic signs will be in place to alert drivers to roadworks including changes to line marking and signage, trimming of vegetation to improve visibility, and speed limit reductions on roads where increased construction traffic, including heavy vehicles are expected.

Traffic control will also be in place during the work to ensure the safety of road users and construction workers.

The Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra Section D four-lane project, the Gympie bypass, is expected to be complete by mid-2024, weather permitting, and is jointly funded by the Australian Government contributing $800 million and the Queensland Government $200 million.