CONSTRUCTION of a cyclist and pedestrian-friendly bridge outside Mossman will get underway before Christmas, pedalling forward plans to connect the sugar cane town and Cooya Beach via a dedicated cycleway.

Douglas Shire Council today resolved to award a $648,784 construction contract to King Concreting Pty Ltd to build a single-span steel, dual purpose shared bridge at Junction Creek, located on the north-eastern edge of Mossman.

The construction, which is Stage One of the 4.7km Mossman to Cooya Beach cycleway project, will create a safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians using the creek crossing.

Once complete, Stage Two will involve constructing 2.6km of shared cycleway from Junction Bridge along Bonnie Doon Road to the Melaleuca Drive intersection at Cooya Beach.

Future stages would connect the road loop from Cooya Beach to Captain Cook Highway, south of Mossman, as well as additional off-shoots down Cooya Beach Road.

Deputy Mayor Lisa Scomazzon said the pending construction was exciting news for cyclists.

“This is a fantastic project that promotes healthy and active lifestyles, while increasing our ability to connect Cooya Beach and Mossman,” she said.

“The Junction Creek Cycleway Bridge will create a safer crossing for cyclists and allows us to join a crucial link for further works on the cycleway.

“Council has a comprehensive road map called the Principal Cycle Network which allows us to sensibly invest in cycling infrastructure to encourage more people to get on their bikes.”

The Queensland Cycle Strategy 2017-2027 sets the strategic direction for cycling in Queensland over the next 10 years, detailing the priorities and action areas.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, together with local governments, developed the Far North Queensland Principal Cycle Network Plan 2016. This plan identifies routes both within each local government area, and connections to adjacent shires.

You can read more about the Douglas Shire Principal Cycle Network here.

Council continues to deliver capital works

A CAPITAL works progress report revealed almost $35 million worth of projects in Douglas Shire will be completed or substantially commenced by June next year.

The progress report detailed the status of the 136 projects Council staff are managing as of September 30 this year.

It comes as Douglas Shire Council voted to commit $940,000 towards the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) to replace Warner’s Bridge, Cassowary and Anich’s Bridge in Finlayvale in next financial year’s budget.

The Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) is an Australian Government initiative to fund the upgrade and replacement of bridges to enhance access for local communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.

Warner’s Bridge

Location: Warner Rd, Cassowary.

Total Cost: $1 million

A new bridge crossing is proposed for construction downstream of the current Warner’s Bridge to increase load limit, and reduce maintenance costs incurred by debris removal after floods and the annual cane harvesting season

The current single-lane timber bridge has a 10-tonne load limit and is used by sugar cane trains, harvesters, tractors and cane haul out machinery, motorists and cyclists.

While the public may continue to use the current bridge, the load limit imposes limits to heavy vehicle movements.

Anich’s Bridge

Location: Finalyvale Rd, Finalyvale

Total Cost: $900,000

A new Anich’s Bridge will increase the load limit and improve safety with a new combined-use bridge ensuring sugar cane growers located beyond the crossing can transport their crop to the Mossman Mill.

The upgrade will allow for the safe transportation of heavy machinery such as cane harvesters, tractors and haulage across the creek. Tourist buses and coaches will have safer access to the tourist resort upstream from the bridge.

Currently, the single-lane bridge is a one span, steel girder dual-purpose bridge with a 13-tonne load limit.

It is used by sugar cane trains, motorists, adventure tourism and cyclists.