Old Murray Bridge

Rejuvenation of South Australian Icon Benefits From fission Expertise

As the first major bridge spanning the Murray River, the Old Murray Bridge is an icon of South Australian infrastructure. Constructed in 1879, the State Heritage Listed structure has connected the townships of East and West Murray Bridge providing a critical transport link for the communities. But, as with any structure, time

As the Department of Infrastructure and Transport looks to extend the lifespan of the bridge, fission’s planning, procurement and pricing skills have been utilised to provide confidence and certainty to the State Government as part of the department’s assurance process. This involved the development of an assessment of the initial budget for the project and an ensuing revised budget that catered for several design alterations.

fission’s Roger Burman welcomed the organisation’s role in supporting the structure’s future, “The old Murray Bridge is a significant piece of South Australian history, and we are delighted to be part of its future. Our team brought our extensive experience in complex structural rectification and refurbishment works to assist DIT in the planning and procurement phases of the project.  It was a privilege for our team to assist in the development of the Old Murray Bridge project and we are proud to see the project currently in delivery by the department as it continues to be a vital part of the region’s infrastructure.”

“For this project to be a success, it was important to understand the complexities of refurbishing a live trafficked, aging steel structure over water, including structural adjustments and removal and replacement of the paint system. We were able to provide the department with several scenarios including double shifting, scaffolding options, and alternative rosters to find the most efficient outcome for constructability whilst remaining cognizant of community expectations during construction,” said Roger.

Following fission’s initial involvement, we were called upon to work with the department to ensure the subsequent tenders were in-line with their expectations and provided value for money in the use of public funds.

“Our team prepared a first principles estimate for direct comparison with tenders submitted by contractors wishing to undertake the works. This included pricing the scope of works in parallel with the tenderers, assessing the tender submissions and providing the department with our program assessment along with a Value for Money (VFM) statement. Once aligned, our estimate was within 2% of the successful contractor’s tender submission, validating the process and providing the department with confidence that their project would meet the needs of the community and represented accurate market pricing,” said Roger.

Expected to support approximately 70 full-time equivalent jobs averaged over the life of the construction period, refurbishment works include:

  • repainting the Old Murray Bridge, which will not only ensure long-term corrosion protection of the steelwork but will also improve the heritage amenity of the bridge;
  • repointing, cleaning, and general repairs to the stone abutments and rebuilding the northern parapets (low stone barriers designed to protect the edge of the bridge) to their original height;
  • upgrading the bridge lighting to LED luminaires to improve visibility and enhance road safety at night;
  • Installing corrosion protection  to prevent degradation of the iron on the river piers to ensure the service life of the bridge is maintained;
  • repair of Pier 26 in order to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge;
  • upgrading pedestrian approach fences to better integrate with the existing heritage fencing;
  • upgrading footpaths and drainage at the southern approach to improve the pedestrian access, safety and improve amenity in the area;
  • installing interpretive signage to recognise the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history of the area;
  • undertaking minor structural repairs and upgrades to the structure to maintain serviceability; and
  • relocation of utility services that currently obstruct the pedestrian footpaths.”

You can learn more about the project at: https://dit.sa.gov.au/infrastructure/marine_and_bridges_projects/oldmurraybridge

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