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EIGHTEEN rail bridges between Ipswich and Chinchilla will be upgraded creating almost 200 jobs.
The State Government has awarded a $28 million contract to Moggill Construction to deliver the upgrades on the ageing bridges.
The project will begin in March and includes replacing 18 timber bridges with stronger, more durable steel girders.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the works would focus on improving the safety and reliability of the bridges while significantly reducing time spent on maintenance.
Mr Bailey said each year about 7000 passenger and freight trains travelled along this line, "supporting the local tourism economy, agriculture and resource sectors".
"The West Moreton system is a critical link for rail services from Brisbane to the west and south west communities of the state and is a major artery to the Darling Downs, which is predominantly used to transport thermal coal and grains."
The West Moreton line is home to the iconic Westlander, which travels through some of the most scenic areas of the outback region.
Moggill Construction will source building material and plant hire from local suppliers where possible, Ipswich West MP Jim Madden said.
The upgrade works are expected to be finished by 2020 and are expected to significantly reduce time and costs spent on maintenance and inspections.
The new project follows the upgrade of five timber rail bridges on the Ipswich/Rosewood line at Karrabin, Walloon, Rosewood, Sadliers Crossing and Thagoona which were replaced with more durable, concrete structures between 2015-2016 to improve the reliability and safety of services on this rail corridor.
Which bridges will be upgraded
This article first appeared on www.gattonstar.com.au
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