October 15, 2020
A “bloody close” near-miss on the single-lane Tanduringie Creek bridge on Friday – involving a loaded school bus – has prompted Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington to call for the bridge’s urgent replacement.
Mrs Frecklington spoke about the potential tragedy during her address to South Burnett Regional councillors on Wednesday night.
She said she had spoken to several parents after the incident, which occurred on Kingaroy-Cooyar Road, just south of Maidenwell.
“We had a semi-trailer meet with a bus full of kids (on the bridge) and I have no idea how that bus didn’t go off,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“The bridge doesn’t even have guard rails.”
Mrs Frecklington said she was very upset about the close call.
She urged the local Traffic Advisory Committee to press for the replacement of the Tanduringie Bridge as a priority.
“We cannot wait for a death or major injury of schoolkids for it to be on the list,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“If the Council can … work with me on trying to prioritise that in your road applications, I would really appreciate it.
“It was bloody close.”
Cr Gavin Jones said he raised the issue of the Tanduringie Bridge at every Traffic Advisory Committee meeting he chaired.
“It’s not just (for) the community of Maidenwell,” he said.
“It is a helluva busy road. The whole of the South Burnett use it to go through to Toowoomba.”
Mrs Frecklington agreed, and suggested Council apply to the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal program.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who has driven on that road that hasn’t felt like they’re haven’t had a near miss,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I’d encourage the local council to apply to the Federal Government for the bridge upgrade.”
Speaking later, Cr Jones said the near-miss was so close, rubber scuff marks had been left on the concrete edge of the roadway.
He said he would be working with Tanduringie State School P&C president Dean Cullen to push for an upgrade to the bridge.
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Replacement of the bridge has been identified as a key planning project in the Transport & Main Road Department’s “project pipeline” for 2020-21.
According to an industry briefing document (4.14Mb PDF) on the TMR website, pre-qualified tenders will be invited to quote during the second quarter of 2021 to develop a business case.
The estimated cost of this initial contract is $200,000.