Two-lane up­grade for bridge

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - Jonno Colfs

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The sin­gle-lane Palmer Bridge at Free­stone is set for a $1.49mil­lion up­grade.

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