Normanby bridge underpass on the highway hit by an over sized truck.
Normanby bridge underpass on the highway hit by an over sized truck. Renee Albrecht

Bruce Highway to be closed in Gympie next Monday night

IF YOU'RE planning on using the Bruce Highway on Monday night, you may want to consider an alternative.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads announced the highway would be closed - weather permitting - from 6pm until midnight next Monday for a safety inspection of the Normanby Bridge overpass, more than eight months after a truck crashed into it last July.

READ MORE: Gympie bridge repairs off again after Bruce Hwy truck crash

TMR District Director Hendrik Roux said Bruce Highway detours would be established via on and off-ramps at the overpass.

"Structural engineers need to further inspect the Normanby overpass after it was struck last year,” Mr Roux said.

"Signs and traffic controllers will be in place to direct motorists during the inspection. This inspection will help us to analyse potential repair options.

"The full structural analysis is expected to be completed mid-year and will provide clearer timeframes for repairs and costs.”

The existing 17-tonne load limit and reduced 40km/h speed limit would remain in place across the overpass until it is repaired.

Mr Roux said the limit was required "to maintain the bridge's safety and reduce the impact from heavy vehicles”.

"We appreciate the community's patience while we work to identify the most suitable repair option,” he said.

The overpass, also known as the "hole in the wall”, was damaged on July 12 when it was struck by a truck heading northbound on the Bruce Highway.

Major delays followed the early-morning incident, with the highway closed in both directions so a crane could move in to ensure the truck's load remained stable and engineers could assess the damage.

TMR revealed last November an initial timeframe to have designs finalised by the end of 2018 had been scrapped due to the complications.