The Bundaberg Region’s Smiths Creek Bridge, once a single-lane timber bridge, has been officially opened today as a revamped two-lane concrete structure.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new $1.8 million bridge was jointly funded through the Government’s $480 million Bridges Renewal Program and Bundaberg Regional Council.
“This project demonstrates how the Bridges Renewal projects unites all levels of government and support regional councils that need added assistance getting the bigger-ticketed projects underway,” Mr McCormack said.
“The project has removed the load limit of the old bridge, as the new bridge now matches the road’s 42.5 tonne capacity, while maintaining its immunity against floods, to provide safer, more productive access for all motorists travelling along this popular route on Bucca Road.
“With the removal of the old load restrictions, Smiths Creek Bridge now offers improved access for heavy vehicles, supporting local farming operations and rural residential development.”
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the new bridge was a win for the community and the many road users who travel the route along Bucca Road every day.
“Bucca is home to many large farming operations and attracts thousands of visitors each year,” Mr O’Dowd said.
Reliable infrastructure vital
“This bridge is also on a road of regional significance, given Bucca Road’s importance as a major school bus route and a detour route when Mount Perry Road is cut during flooding.
“Having reliable infrastructure is absolutely vital and I am pleased to see the upgrade completed.”
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the bridge was known as Smiths Creek Bridge by locals, but its gazetted name is actually Stony Creek Bridge.
“The old 25-metre-long, single-lane timber bridge was around 60 years old and was along a route used frequently by heavy vehicles carrying farming inputs, produce and livestock, so there was a real need to replace the old bridge,” Cr Dempsey said.
“Work on demolishing the old bridge and replacing it with the new concrete box culvert structure took four months to complete on site, supporting an average of 25 jobs over the life of the project.
“We are grateful to have the support of the Australian Government in helping our Council extend the life of this bridge and provide safer essential infrastructure for our local community.“
The Federal Government and Bundaberg Regional Council jointly funded the $1.8 million project on a 50:50 basis.