Monday, August 16, 2010


There was a slight hiccup at some bridgeworks on the Barton Highway (not far away) where workers were pouring concrete for an overpass as part of the Gungahlin Drive extension.

Fifteen workers were injured, with nine workers treated in hospital after bridgework on the Gungahlin Drive extension collapsed yesterday. Workers were pouring concrete on the east-west section of the new bridge when a cracking sound was heard. The bridge buckled beneath them seconds later, taking construction workers standing on the upper section with it.
Some workers scrambled to safety in time but one was left suspended in mid-air after he grabbed hold of a cement truck hose.

CFMEU ACT branch secretary Dean Hall said, ''They heard a crack, there was a three-second delay and then it gave way.''

A worker with lower leg injuries was trapped in a confined space for about 15 minutes before being rescued by fire crews. Most others were able to walk to waiting ambulance crews for treatment. Six workers were treated on-site for minor injuries by paramedics.
Source:  The Canberra Times

The road below this bridge, the Barton Highway, is very busy and it was fortunate that work was being done early on a Saturday morning with traffic control in place.

New view released in this morning's press:

ACT Roads spokesman Tony Gill says debris will need to be cleared away before the road can reopen.

"Our initial advice is that it could take up to two weeks before we are in a position to remove the debris and get the road open for public use," he said. "We are getting an independent engineer's report just to get an understanding of how the bridge collapsed and secondly we need to engage a demolition contractor to remove the debris.

"But we also have to make sure it is safe for that demolition contractor to go in and remove the debris."
TWO WEEKS to clear it? This is a major 'peak connector' into Canberra from the west and northwest 'dormitory suburbs' of Canberra residential areas. The two other routes, Gunghalin Drive (already crowded because of the GDE roadworks) and Kingsford-Smith/William Hovell drives are chaotic and at a standstill in peak hour.

1 comment:

Gill - That British Woman said...

thank goodness no one was killed. I remember a bridge collapsing in Montreal a couple of years ago on a major commuter route and the chaos that caused.

Gill in Canada