$5.5m bridge planned for Bloomfield Track

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

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

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