Council and Commonwealth continue bridge partnership
Council and the Federal Government are set to partner on the replacement of a further eight ageing timber bridges in Scenic Rim.
Mayor Greg Christensen said Council had secured co-funding support in the latest round of the national Bridges Renewal Programme, which provides a Federal contribution of up to 50 per cent of the project cost. The eight bridge replacements co-funded for replacement are:
- Ferguson Reserve Bridge – Brookland Rd, Allenview
- Back Creek Bridge - Beechmont Rd, Beechmont
- Sharp Bridge – Beechmont Rd, Beechmont
- Botan Creek Bridge – Beechmont Rd, Beechmont
- Josephville Bridge – Josephville Rd, Josephville
- Cavell Bridge – Boyland Rd, Boyland
- S Todd Bridge – Sandy Creek Rd, Josephville
- Brookland Bridge – Undullah Rd, Kagaru
"The delivery of these eight new bridges will reduce the number of timber structures currently maintained by Council from 74 to 66 in an overall network of 129, which is a great outcome for the region," Cr Christensen said.
He said Council had received co-funding for three bridge replacements under the previous funding round to renew Tramway Bridge at Christmas Creek, Churchbank Bridge at Mutdapilly and Adams Bridge at Rosevale.
"Our long-term Bridges Strategy continues to guide the progressive replacement of the region's ageing timber bridges with contemporary engineering solutions. When Council implemented its Bridges Strategy in 2011 there were 97 timber bridges in use throughout the region," he said.
"The replacement of these eight bridges, in addition to the improvements already delivered, represents the renewal of almost a third of the region's timber bridges in the space of eight years. This is an outstanding record of achievement in providing new infrastructure."
Cr Christensen said Sharp Bridge, Botan Creek Bridge, Back Creek Bridge and Ferguson Reserve Bridge had already been programmed for replacement this financial year, while the remaining four bridges would be delivered in 2018-19.
"Gaining this number of approvals at one time will allow Council to realise a range of efficiencies and savings through the scale of these contract works," he said.
He said Council's continued investment in maintaining and renewing road and bridge infrastructure was vital in driving the region's economy.
"Our transport corridors are crucial to supporting the growth of our economy. The limitations imposed by timber bridges, many of which were constructed more than half a century ago, are effectively roadblocks to economic growth," he said.
"As well as being safer, contemporary structures of concrete or steel are more resilient and require less ongoing maintenance, delivering cost savings to ratepayers in the longer term.
"Importantly, new bridges are free of load limits for heavy vehicles, a key consideration given the significant movement of trucks and farm equipment in our rural areas.
Cr Christensen said Council acknowledged and appreciated the continuing advocacy of the Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz in support of Council's infrastructure program.
"I also acknowledge former deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss who instigated the Bridges Renewal Programme, and unveiled this important Federal program in Scenic Rim, which supports the work of local government in renewing ageing infrastructure."
Mr Buchholz said the renewal of the eight bridges would deliver social and economic benefits across the Scenic Rim region.
“A strong regional bridges network is crucial to ensure local residents have a safer run on our roads and improve connectivity ensuring community access to essential services.”
“The upgrade of these successful bridges will also help drive the economy through the creation of construction jobs and boost the efficiency of our local businesses and primary producers.”