May 31, 2021
A $3 million footpath connecting Cherbourg to Murgon is likely to cost more than expected after a funding application for a $663,000 pedestrian bridge across Sawpit Creek was rejected.
In February, the South Burnett Regional Council and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council submitted a joint application to the State Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (ATSI TIDS) to build a separate pedestrian bridge across the creek.
The footbridge – if built – would have provided extra safety for people using the footpath.
At present, pedestrians crossing the creek are forced to use an unprotected, narrow path on the side of the Sawpit Creek bridge.
With DTMR estimating there are now more than 2086 vehicle movements along Cherbourg Road each day, both Councils felt this posed too much of a risk to public safety.
However, ATSI TIDS recently advised the joint funding application was unsuccessful.
As a result, SBRC officers believe the only viable alternative is to upgrade the existing bridge, which is in the South Burnett Regional Council area.
This will involve the installation of guardrails and structural works at an estimated cost of $110,000.
As well, the SBRC will also need to spend a further $112,000 resurfacing and rehabilitating its section of Cherbourg Road.
SBRC councillors will now meet on Wednesday to discuss the matter as part of their 2021-22 Budget deliberations.
A Federal Government grant to construct the footpath was originally announced by Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien in March 2019.
Work on building the footpath is expected to begin later this year.