May 27, 2020
South Burnett Regional Council will upgrade two bridges if it can get half the cost of the upgrades paid for by the Federal Government.
At May’s Council meeting, councillors heard the Kelvyn T. Peters bridge on Kingaroy’s River Road needs maintenance, and a bridge on Home Creek Loop Road near Wilkesdale is currently closed for safety reasons.
Mayor Brett Otto said the Peters bridge needs an estimated $80,000 of maintenance work.
Most of this would be spent fixing the bridge’s guard rails.
The bridge on Home Creek Loop Road, however, was closed last August when Council inspectors found structural defects that affected its load-bearing capacity.
Officers recommended that rather than try to replace this bridge with a modern equivalent – which would cost an estimated $150,000 – Council should install a low-level floodway for $100,000 instead.
Officers also recommended Council submit both projects to Round 5 of the Federal Government’s Bridge Renewal Program.
This program would provide 50/50 funding if the application was successful, saving ratepayers $90,000.
Cr Kirstie Schumacher said she supported the proposal but questioned what would happen to Home Creek Loop Road residents if a flood occurred.
Infrastructure General Manager Aaron Meehan said because Home Creek Loop Road was a true loop with both ends accessible from the Chinchilla-Wondai Road, no residents would have their access blocked if flooding occurred.
He said Council had written to Home Creek Loop Road residents last year when the bridge was closed and had received no objections.
Cr Scott Henschen said he knew many residents who lived on Home Creek Loop Road, and agreed with Mr Meehan.
“I think residents would welcome anything that happened here,” he said.
Councillors agreed to submit both bridges to the Bridge Renewal Program before the round closed.
- Related article: Two Bridges Closed Over Safety Concerns