Engineering, Freight Rail, Passenger Rail

Tender process begins for Avon River rail bridge upgrade

An Advance Tender Notice (ATN) and pre-qualification process is now underway for the replacement of the Avon River Bridge in Stratford on Victoria’s Gippsland Line.

The project is being overseen by Rail Projects Victoria (RPV), which will use the pre-qualification process to select tenderers for the design and construction of the $95 million new bridge, part of the $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade.

The replacement of the current bridge – now well over a century old (built in 1888) – will enable the 10 km/h speed limit currently imposed on this section to be lifted, thus improving travel times.

The project is being jointly funded by the Commonwealth Victorian governments – delivering $86 million and $9 million respectively.

“The new bridge is just part of the work we’re doing on the Gippsland Line Upgrade to give Gippslanders the train services they deserve,” federal transport minister Michael McCormack said.

The broader upgrade package, including track duplication, signalling upgrades and new stabling, is to deliver more frequent and reliable train services on the line. The level crossing upgrades and track duplication will untangle bottlenecks, while additional platforms will be constructed at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell and Traralgon stations.

State transport minister Jacinta Allan said that the project would provide opportunities for local businesses and create more than 400 jobs.

“The design and construction of the new bridge will provide numerous opportunities for local contractors and suppliers to be involved and ensure this investment benefits Gippsland in the long run,” Allan said.

Geotechnical and site investigations underway at the Avon River rail bridge in Stratford began in March this year to ascertain current ground conditions and soil quality. The information gathered will inform the project’s design and construction phases.

Construction of the new bridge will begin in 2019, following planning and environmental approvals, and is expected to be completed in 2021.