Two-lane upgrade for bridge
A RICKETY and dangerous one-lane bridge at Freestone will make way for a long-awaited two-lane upgrade. While residents say they are thrilled, speed limits in the area are still causing concern.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud announced the Federal Government would allocate $1.49 million to upgrade Palmer Bridge.
The bridge will be replaced under round three of the Bridges Renewal Program.
“This mean the timber bridge will be replaced with a two-lane crossing, increasing the load limit from 42.5 tonnes to 166 tonnes,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This upgrade will extend this bridge’s life by 100 years and will improve access and safety, not only for the community but also heavy vehicles as this improved route will remove a potential 34km detour if the old bridge failed or load restrictions were further reduced.”
Freestone residents welcomed the move.
Local farmer Bill McVeigh said it was long overdue.
“This is good news, it’s been something that should have happened years ago,” Mr McVeigh said.
“When they fixed the bridge last time they put all the infrastructure in place for a two-lane bridge but they chose not to build it.
“The speed limits around the bridge still need to be fixed though: We’ve got a 60kmh zone through the village and 100 across the bridge. It’s probably wiser to make it 80 the whole way.”
Freestone resident Kathy Payne said it was wonderful news.
“As long as it doesn’t bring more trucks through our little country road,” Mrs Payne said.
“That will mean the council will need to do even more maintenance but I’m glad to hear the one-lane bridge is going, it’s dangerous, especially with the oncoming 100kmh speed limit.”
Steven Kelly said the news of the funding was fantastic but he too held concerns about the speed limit approaching the bridge.
Mr Littleproud said now funding was available, it was up to local and state governments to arrange the delivery of the project.
The single-lane Palmer Bridge at Freestone is set for a $1.49million upgrade.