Hinterland communities can now cross the Mary River to Conondale safely after the opening of the new Grigor Bridge.
Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, said completion of the new bridge means this important link will remain open during future floods.
“The complete closure of the original bridge during the floods had a significant impact on hinterland communities and local industries, with the detour route adding up to one hour to journeys,” Mr Powell said.
“Projects like this are a good example of the Newman Government providing better infrastructure and planning.
“In addition to reconstruction funding, extra funding was made available by the Queensland Government to make sure the bridge meets the community’s long-term needs.
“To provide better flood immunity, the bridge is more than two metres higher than the original 1929 single-lane timber bridge.
“It is a reinforced concrete structure for improved durability, while the addition of an extra lane has increased traffic capacity.”
Mr Powell said protecting the environment during construction had been a priority and would continue to be a key consideration during the project’s final stages.
“We timed construction activity in the river to accommodate the breeding cycles of several iconic species found in the Mary River, including the Mary River turtle and Mary River cod,” Mr Powell said.
“Demolition of the original bridge will also provide environmental challenges, with crews working closely with environmental specialists to protect wildlife.
“Specialist divers will again be used to clear turtles and other aquatic wildlife during the installation of booms to protect them from in-water activities.”
The remainder of the project, including demolition of the old bridge and removal of the temporary sidetrack, will be completed by the middle of the year.
This project is funded jointly by the State and Federal Governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements and is part of the $269 million allocated to North Coast Region to repair damage from natural disasters and flooding.
-ENDS 21 February 2014