Bridge giving way under heavy traffic
CONTINUED pounding from heavy trucks on the Baio Bridge has Whyanbeel residents worried that it will only be a matter of time before it comes crashing down into the creek due to rotting timber support pillars.
Local resident John Gray took the Gazette underneath the bridge on Monday to reveal crumbling cross-member beams and one support post completely rotted and no longer attached to the cross-member beam.
The bridge is about 400 metres back from the turn-off to the Karnak Theatre.
“As you can see the bridge is in a total state of disrepair and it is falling to pieces,” Mr Gray said.
“One of the major concerns I have is with the tip-trucks towing dog-trailers full of dirt or whatever material they are carrying because each bin can hold 10 tonnes and that has a total weight of 20 tonnes - the bridge load limit is 10 tonnes only.
“And some of the drivers hit that bridge pretty fast and at speed the weight sets up a terrible vibration on the bridge adding extra strain to the already rotting structure.
“It must only be a matter of time before it collapses into the water and I only pray the day that happens that no one is driving across the bridge.”
Mr Gray said he had also contacted the Cairns Regional Council at the Mossman office and told them how bad the bridge was rotting and how one of the solid timber support posts had rotted away.
“At first I wrote to the Council and didn’t even get a reply which is not good enough especially considering the safety issue of the bridge and its potential to cause harm if it does collapse - and it will fall if nothing is done,” Mr Gray said.
“If one of the support posts, and these are big round, solid timber posts can completely rot away so can the other posts and then the bridge simply falls into the water.
“I wrote to council initially about it and heard nothing back so went in person and asked to speak to someone in charge at the council’s office and I was just met with total indifference to the problem and so I stormed out.”
Yesterday the Gazette told the council about the rotting timbers on the bridge and the over-loaded trucks and was told that a bridge inspector was sent out to the bridge after being informed by the Gazette.
“Bridges are routinely inspected and the Baio Bridge was last inspected in July but there are many bridges to check and it does take time but an inspector was sent out yesterday to check the condition of the bridge,” A council spokesman said.
“We also welcome information from members of the public if they see any bridge in disrepair or any infrastructure to give council a call so that we can get someone to immediately check it out.”
The CRC number is 4044 3044.
Falling apart: a support post has totally rotted and is no longer giving any support to the bridge