Qld commits funds to fix low-level bridges

Bligh Government to spend $1million to upgrade low-level rail bridges after incidents involving road vehicles

February 17, 2010

Funds will be pumped into bridge upgrades in Queensland after a string of incidents involving vehicles hitting low-lying structures.

Minister for Transport Rachel Nolan says $1 million will be spent improving the safety of low-level rail bridges in South East Queensland.

Nolan says there have been 301 incidents at 45 locations on the rail network in the past 10 years, finally prompting action from the Bligh Government.

Queensland Rail recently completed an audit on the 109 overbridges on the rail network and identified measures to reduce incidents.

Nolan says additional analysis will be needed to identify protection measures for all low-level bridges, but bridge works are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"No significant structural damage has occurred to a rail overbridge, nor has a train been derailed as a result of a road vehicle strike," Nolan says.

"However, they cause significant delays for commuters and road users while the vehicle is removed and the bridge is inspected to ensure safe operation."
But Nolan has also put the onus on drivers by saying bridge strikes are a behavioural issue.

All rail overbridges with a clearance of 5.3 metres or less have some form of protection measure, such as warning signs, hazard markers and height gauges.

All low-level rail bridges with a clearance less than 4.6 metres are identified with signs showing the height of the bridge.

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