Structures life expectancy nearing best by date
THE life expectancy of one the region’s icons is coming to an end.
Ninety-eight year’s ago Carnarvon Bridge, as we know it now, finished construction.
A wooden bridge crossing Quart Pot Creek was first built in 1878, and was then replaced with the concrete structure.
The bridge has a 100 year life and that best by date is fast approaching.
Despite that, no plans to knock it down and start again are in the pipeline.
“We regularly monitor the Carnarvon Bridge,” a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said.
“Monitoring has shown it is operating safely, so there are no plans for upgrades.”
In 2009, the then Department of Main Roads was reported in a Border Post article as giving a 10-year time frame for the bridge upgrade.
Member for Southern Downs James Lister said it’s about time a business case was put together to plan for replacement.
“There is an awareness that Carnarvon Bridge has to have a future and that something has to be done about it.
“Like most of these projects Transport and Main Roads work on a business case and a rough design awaiting an opportunity for funding.
“It’s less than ideal that the bridge is so narrow and a shame there isn’t a pedestrian crossing on the bridge still.
“I will be encouraging Transport and Main Roads to put a case to the State Government for funding in the forward estimates.
“It does need to be looked at for near term resolution.
“It’s possible for the structure to be sound and for the bridge to be serviceable but that’s not the same thing as the bridge being desirable.
“Given it is nigh on one hundred years old it does bring that into sharp focus.
“I would welcome the construction of a new bridge in consultation with local stakeholders such as residents and the small business community in the main street.”
For construction to occur, an agreement on funding between the state and federal government’s would need to happen.
Previous costing estimates from Transport and Main Roads has suggested that replacement could cost in the vicinity of $600,000.
A planned inspection by Transport and Main Roads last weekend was postponed and has been rescheduled for Sunday, February 23.
“This closure, and future inspections in the next 12 months, will give us a further understanding of the bridge’s current capacity and determine its priority for upgrade,” a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said.