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Bridge demolition to make way for new interchange

25 May 2019

The Craig Gilbert Bridge will be demolished this weekend to enable the continued construction of the Southern Interchange entry point to the Northern Connector, marking a significant step in the $885 million Northern Connector project.

Built in 2005 as part of the Port River Expressway (PREXY) Stage 1 as an overpass across the PREXY, the bridge was always intended as a temporary overpass while the Northern Connector project was still in the pipeline.

The bridge is now being demolished to facilitate the construction of the Southern Interchange, which will link the South Road Superway up to the Northern Connector as part of the project to deliver a non-stop, 78km North South Corridor between Gawler and Old Noarlunga.

The replacement bridge will retain the Craig Gilbert name, in honour of the former Tonkin Consulting Managing Director, whose innovative design was used for the existing bridge.

Mr Gilbert passed away in 2003 after a short illness, two years before the bridge’s completion.

The Port River Expressway will be closed from 7pm, Friday, 24 May, until 5am, Monday, 27 May to allow for the demolition, which is being carried out by local contractor Royal Park Salvage, who will use 100 per cent South Australian labour and equipment for the job.

A total of 520 cubic meters (or 1240 tonnes) of concrete will be demolished from the structure over the weekend, with works occurring continuously during day and night shifts.

PREXY will be covered with a combination of specialised geotechnical fabric, steel plates and crushed rock to protect the road surface from damage as the bridge is demolished from overhead.

The Southern Interchange will then continue to be constructed in a staged approach over the coming months.

The Southern Interchange, once completed, will include an off-ramp from the Northern Connector to PREXY for westbound traffic, an on-ramp from PREXY to Northern Connector for northbound traffic, an off ramp from the South Road Superway to the Salisbury Highway for eastbound traffic, and an on-ramp from PREXY to the South Road Superway for southbound traffic.

The Northern Connector project is delivering significant employment opportunities for South Australians, with 626 individuals having contributed to total on-site labour hours during the month of April 2019.