BRIDGE FACES MORE TROUBLED WATERS
A BRIDGE linking the Gold Coast to Mt Tamborine and the Hinterland is tipped to wash away again despite the State Government spending $15 million on an upgrade after floods washed the old structure away.
As the council turned its focus yesterday to preparing its disaster management program for the upcoming cyclone season, concerns surfaced about the John Muntz Bridge and causeway at Oxenford.
Theodore MP Mark Boothman went on the attack after asking Transport Minister Mark Bailey about the integrity of the repaired bridge and whether it could withstand a flood on the Coomera River similar to the cyclonic flooding that destroyed the old bridge in March last year.
Residents have told the Bulletin the Government and city council have not consulted each other on the restoration work.
Mr Bailey told Parliament Department of Transport and Main Roads engineers advised repairs were carried out to meet Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements guidelines, meaning “the asset was restored to its pre-flood condition”.
But he said the restored bridge would provide better protection. The new bridge had a flood immunity of 18 per cent AEP (annual exceedance probability), which Mr Bailey said meant there was less chance of water flowing across the critical hinterland connection.
Rectified scour protection was designed to withstand flooding of “up to 1 per cent chance in a calendar year”. He said the possibility of another flood like that of March 2017 was less than that.
But Mr Boothman accused the Government of refusing to protect its statecontrolled road network.
He said Mr Bailey’s reply confirmed the Government’s restoration works would “do next to nothing to prevent this critically important arterial road from being washed away again”.
“The State Labor Government says it is council responsibility and council blames the state, yet it is the residents and businesses who rely on this road who will suffer most,” Mr Boothman said.
“No more excuses, no more blame game. Fix the riverbank, stop the erosion and secure this critically important road network.”
The council yesterday used a forum and training exercise at Carrara to begin testing its capacity to manage “disaster recovery’’.