Thursday 27 May 2010

Innisfail's Jubilee Bridge to be rebuilt for $20 million

The Cassowary Coast Regional Council has voted to construct a new Jubilee Bridge at a cost of $19.8 million. $14 million will be contributed by the State Government, and the balance from the local council.

Jubilee Bridge was opened in 1923, and links the township with East Innisfail.

In March, when Premier Bligh bought the Cabinet to Innisfail, she told Cassowary mayor Bill Shannon she was looking at financing arrangements that will not be a burden on local ratepayers.

"That will take some work, but we want to see this bridge built," Anna Bligh said.

Cassowary Coast Council announced this month that the bridge would be closed permanently to all vehicles.

"The decision to close the bridge was made in the interests of public safety," Mayor Bill Shannon. “Recent testing of the bridge by GHD and structural testing experts, integrity testing has found the structure is deteriorating rapidly with major cracking. Public safety is the highest priority, so Council has decided to permanently close the bridge to vehicle traffic as of Friday 21st May."

The trip is around an extra 10 minutes longer to travel from East Innisfail into the town. Pedestrians will still be allowed access, but this will be monitored for safety.

"The early closure of the Jubilee Bridge is going to have a significant impact on the people of Innisfail," Bill Shannon said. "The bridge is used by thousands of residents each day to travel between work, school and services in the CBD and their homes in East and North Innisfail."

A 2008 inspection found that the structural components of the 87-year-old bridge had continued to deteriorate since 2003, and had extended to more spans.

The Mulgrave River bridge at Gordonvale, cost $48 million to construct.

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