Bridge giv­ing way un­der heavy traf­fic

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

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

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