Diggers Bridge is located in the Mowbray Valley.
The original Diggers Bridge which was slightly upstream of the present crossing, was built by returned soldiers in 1919 and served the community well until the current bridge was built alongside in the 1960s.
The bridge currently has a load limit of 15 tonnes; a significant reduction on its original capacity of 44 tonnes. Diggers Bridge will continue to deteriorate and as such, has been earmarked for replacement. Council was successful in securing $1.3 million from the Federal Government under the Bridge Renewal Program to go towards building a new, dual lane bridge with increased load limit.
A tender has been awarded to local Kenmac Constructions and work is expected to commence mid-July 2018, with the aim of completing the work by December 2018. The existing Diggers Bridge will remain in use throughout the construction phase, and once the new crossing comes into operation, it will be closed off to all vehicle traffic and maintained by Council as a pedestrian and cycle crossing,
Total: $2.6 million $1.3 Federal Government $1.3 million Douglas Shire Council
There has been some criticism directed at Council mainly around the need to remove several rain trees in the vicinity.
- READ OPTIONS ANALYSIS HERE
- PUBLIC NOTICE (July 19, 2018 – Mowbray River Rd temporary closure)
- DECISION NOTICE
Removal of rain trees
The rain trees around Diggers Bridge are majestic and their canopy creates an idyllic ambience but all viable options required the removal of one or more rain trees.
There are 37 rain trees in the immediate vicinity of Diggers Bridge and while the large rain tree on the southern bank and five others upstream will need to be removed, all others will remain.
This includes two large trees on the northern bank and one on the southern bank which are adjacent to the wooden Diggers Bridge.
Some of the canopy will be lost initially, but based on ecological advice, the loss in the canopy will eventually be covered by surrounding rain trees.
Council will also replace lost vegetation with suitable natives to boost the biodiversity and stabilise the river bank.
- READ MOWBRAY VALLEY VEGETATION SURVEY REPORT
- Responsible Tree Management Factsheet
- FNQROC Natural Asset Management Guidelines
Retention of wooden bridge welcomed
Council’s commitment to keep the existing Diggers Bridge and maintain it in the long term as a recreational facility for fishers, walkers and cyclists has been welcomed by many in the community.
It is one of the few remaining wooden bridges in the shire, and a favourite spot for wedding photos.
The other advantage of keeping Diggers Bridge is that apart from a few days here and there, it will be operational during construction.
This means significantly less disruption to residents and businesses.
If the existing bridge was removed and a new one built in its place, it would mean for six months during construction, all Mowbray Valley residents, all quarry trucks, all cane hauling and all tourist buses would have to enter and leave the valley via Tresize Road.
This is narrower than Mowbray Road and passes by more houses.
Project Manager – Michael Matthews Ph. 07 4099 9475
Consulting Engineer – RECS – Ph. 4099 6010
Contractor – KENMAC – Ph. 4098 2254
Wet Tropics Management Authority
Protected Plant Survey Report
Vegetation Survey Report
Douglas Shire Council