Home / Case Studies / InfraBuild contributes to Haughton River flood resilience project

InfraBuild contributes to Haughton River flood resilience project

27 February 2020

Key Information

  • InfraBuild is providing approximately 540 tonnes of 7 Wire PC Strand to customer Humes Townsville
  • InfraBuild supplied the pile cage reinforcement for the 1500mm diameter permanent steel piles 
  • InfraBuild is also supplying strand for the pre-tensioned beams that span across the river to form the trafficable bridge deck

An upgrade to a stretch of the Bruce Highway through one of Queensland’s most complex floodplains will help provide flood immunity to the highway and safety benefits to motorists.  

InfraBuild is contributing a substantial package of products and services for flood resilience and safety upgrades on the Bruce Highway in North Queensland.

The $514.3 million Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project has been under construction by Transport and Main Roads (TMR) between Ayr and Townsville, since April 2019. 

The project scope includes:

  • two new bridge / rail overpasses
  • five floodplain bridge crossings
  • 69 culverts
  • 13.5 km of pavement
  • facilitating earthworks structures. 

Given the scope, a large number of pre-fabricated concrete structures are required, involving close collaboration between InfraBuild and precaster Humes. By the completion of the project InfraBuild will have supplied in excess of 540 tonnes of wire strand to Humes Townsville. Humes has been engaged as a subcontractor to manufacture and deliver more than 281 structural piles, 1706 RCP Culverts, 2574 Box Culverts, 527 deck units and 35 Super T Girders to the project. 

Design methodology

The Haughton River Bridge will include seven deck spans supported on twin 1500mm diameter permanent steel piles at each pier. InfraBuild has supplied the pile cage reinforcement for each of these piers.

These steel piles are driven into the riverbed and the pile reinforcement is lowered into the piles. Concrete is poured to the pile, encasing the reinforcement to form a rigid structural element for the bridge foundations. 

InfraBuild’s wire strand is also being installed into the pre-tensioned beams that span across the river to form the trafficable bridge deck. The wire strand create a negative hogging deflection that provides a concave shape to the beams, increasing the strength capacity.

InfraBuild will also supply strand cables to Humes to be used in the fabrication of stressed pre-cast piles and deck units for bridges at Horseshoe Lagoon, Pink Lily Lagoon, Healey’s Lagoon and the Reed Beds.

InfraBuild’s value proposition

According to InfraBuild Wire’s Bruce Grady, InfraBuild Wire’s strong overall market offer and a commitment to quality resulted in it being the strand supplier of choice for this project. He says Humes Townsville has been a strong supporter of InfraBuild Wire for decades.

We have an excellent relationship with the team at Humes in Bohle. The Bohle site is located just outside of Townsville and it’s ideally situated to supply piles and deck units for bridge construction to this project.”

Bruce Grady, InfraBuild Wire

Bruce added that InfraBuild’s integrated supply chain enable it to manage the complex supply logistics to ensure that the large volume of products required for the project, including InfraBuild Wire’s products from Newcastle in NSW arrived safely, in excellent condition and on time.

Mitigating the effect of flood events

The Haughton River floodplain is considered one of the most complex in Queensland, with floods forcing the closure of this section of the Bruce Highway every one to two years. Due to the large catchment area and high ground water table, the surrounding area of the Haughton River is sensitive to flooding during the wet season inundating downstream homes during severe weather.

As a result, long-term studies and extensive planning have been undertaken to ensure the community has a durable and long-lasting product.

In order to improve flood resilience on the Bruce Highway, the new bridge decks will be built to conform with a one-in-50-year, or 2% Annual Exceedance Probability, flood event. The finished surface will be raised the required level and the supporting structure will accommodate trafficable loads in a flood.

Once the project is complete, the severity and frequency of weather-related closures on this section will be greatly reduced from an average of 55 hours to between 15 and 22 hours for a one-in-50-year flood.

The entire 13.5-kilometre project footprint will be built to withstand a one-in-10-year, or 10% Annual Exceedance Probability, flood.

Tubular steel piles, which form part of the foundation for the new wider and higher Haughton River Bridge, will include InfraBuild wire, as will pre-tensioned beams in the new bridge deck.


The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, under the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with contributions of $411.47 million and $102.87 million.

As part of the project, bridges over the Haughton River, Horseshoe Lagoon and Pink Lily Lagoon will be replaced, two new crossings of existing floodways will be built and two highway overpasses of local roads (and cane tram lines) will be built.

An average of 544 direct jobs are expected to be supported over the project lifecycle.

The project is due to be completed in mid 2021, weather and construction conditions permitting.

For more information on the project, click here and search ‘Haughton’.

Images courtesy TMR