$5.5m bridge planned for Bloomfield Track
A NEW $5.5 million bridge over the Bloomfield River will be built to further flood-proof the vital community and tourism link between Cape Tribulation and Cooktown.
A large section of the Bloomfield Track causeway near Wujal Wujal community, approximately 30km north of Cape Tribulation, was swept away by recent heavy rains.
The Wujal Wujal community has been split in two by the severe damage to the causeway, with more than 500 local residents affected and the popular tourism route closed to traffic for up to six months.
Three large sections of the causeway have been washed down the river from heavy rains in the wake of Cyclone Yasi.
An SES vessel is transporting people across the river, however this is only a temporary measure and the only other way to reach the other side is a seven-hour drive via an inland route.
Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council mayor Desmond Tayley met with Cairns Regional Council and Cook Shire Council last week but remains concerned about the impact of the causeway closure on the local community and economy, which relies on tourists making the trek north.
“Many people have been affected by this including older people, families with young children, children going to school, people getting medication and getting our residents to work on time,” he said.
“We are very grateful to have the assistance of the SES vessel which is currently transporting people across the river however this assistance is only temporary.
“We are hoping to get funding for a vessel to be used until the causeway can be repaired.”
The Department of Transport and Main Roads is working closely with local councils to investigate the feasibility of fast-tracking the design phase of the project.
A suitable location for the bridge has been chosen and preliminary drilling of the site is complete.
No go zone: the Bloomfield causeway is severely damaged