Mayor Graeme Lehmann, Russell Lehmann and Senator Paul Scarr cut the ribbon over the new Lehmann Bridge on Plain Creek (Photo: SRC)

October 8, 2021

A new $890,000 bridge named in honour of one of the early farming families in the Somerset region has been officially opened.

Lehmann Bridge, over Plain Creek at Minden, recognises the descendants of Martin Lehmann, who settled in the district in the late 1800s.

Seven generations of Lehmanns have lived in the district and Russell Lehmann continues the family’s farming tradition from the original Lehmann homestead, while his cousin Graeme is the Somerset Mayor.

Lehmann Bridge was one of two bridges built under Round 4 of the Federal Government’s Bridge Renewal Program.

The Federal Government and Somerset Regional Council each contributed half the $890,730 total cost of Lehmann Bridge and half the total $1,105,688 cost of the Tetzlaffs Bridge at Mount Beppo.

The bridges were officially opened recently by Queensland Senator Paul Scarr.

“I know if we award funding for bridge renewals to Somerset Regional Council, the job will be done on time, on budget and to a high quality of workmanship,” Senator Scarr said. 

He congratulated Mayor Graeme Lehmann and his team on Somerset Council’s achievement of being the most successful council in the nation in terms of accessing funding for bridge renewal, replacing more than 60 bridges since the 2011 floods – an average of six every year.

Mayor Lehmann attributed Council’s success in consistently securing funding and building quality assets to the work done by staff and through using local contractors.

“Our staff are the reason for our success, from the detailed and targeted submissions across a variety of funding programs to the operations team on the ground who deliver the end product. It’s something we should all be very proud of,” he said.

The new bridges have a projected lifespan of 100 years.

Both were constructed by Somerset Council’s in-house works team, one of the few remaining councils in Australia to do so.

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