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ACCIONA installs the girders for the bridge over the Nambucca River that will form part of the Pacific Highway in Australia


A 400-ton crane on a barge on the river was used to lift the girders into place.

The bridge forms part of the Pacific Highway upgrade that ACCIONA is constructing in Australia.

ACCIONA Construction, as part of the Pacifico joint-venture, has now installed the 20 girders for the new bridge over the Nambucca River that the company is constructing in Macksville, eastern Australia.

The bridge, which is currently entering its final construction phase, is part of the Pacific Highway upgrade in New South Wales.

The work to install the girders over the river was successfully completed on 17 November, when the last of the 20 box girders, which will form five 40.5 metre spans over the Nambucca River, was lifted into place.

This is the first time that box-type bridge girders have been used for this type of project in Australia and they were designed and constructed at a special site for prefabricated materials adjoining the construction zone that was specifically created for this project. 

A 400-ton crane located on a barge in the river was used to lift and install the 20 girders into their final position using a new procedure for this type of operation due to the dimensions of the structures being moved. 

A team of more than 15 people was involved in placing each girder to ensure the precision and safety of the operation, one of ACCIONA’s priorities in every project it undertakes. The project also reached an important milestone during the operations in the Nambucca River, achieving more than two million incident-free working hours with no lost-time injuries. 

Construction of this bridge is part of the project to upgrade the Pacific Highway, Australia’s busiest route that connects Sydney, the country’s most prominent city, with Brisbane, the third-largest by population. The highway is being upgraded and extended as part of the Australian government’s plan to promote infrastructure investment.

The Pacifico joint-venture, in which ACCIONA Construction is a partner, is upgrading a section covering nearly 20 km between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads and will be used by around 15,000 people every day. The works are intended to improve road safety and reduce seasonal traffic congestion. 

As part of the improvement works of the Pacific Highway plan, in August the joint-venture was also awarded the contract to construct the Clarence River Crossing, a 30-metre high four-lane bridge in Harwood.

Experience in Australia

The Pacific Highway upgrade is ACCIONA Construction’s first major project in New South Wales, although the company has extensive experience in Australia where it has been present since 2002 and which has become a platform for entering the markets of Southeast Asia. 

ACCIONA has become a leading firm in the Australian sector after being selected to develop some of the most emblematic infrastructure projects tendered in recent years, which have also received numerous awards.

ACCIONA constructed the Legacy Way tunnels in Brisbane that won international awards for introducing innovative sustainable construction methods and for breaking the world record for tunnel construction speed. It is also a partner in the Nexus Infrastructure consortium that is currently constructing the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) in Queensland, a PPP project worth AU$1.6 billion, and a new 12 kilometre tram line in Sydney.

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