CONSTRUCTION of a new bridge near Mossman which will improve access for the local sugarcane industry is now underway.
Douglas Shire Council has finished building a bypass at Anichs Bridge, located on Finlayvale Road, to allow construction of a new bridge downstream.
Anichs Bridge is a single lane, timber bridge with a rail line running through the centre of the bridge deck.
The project is co-funded by Douglas Shire Council and the Australian Government under the Bridges Renewal Program.
This project will see an increase in the crossing’s load rating to 44 tonnes and the bridge’s useful life increased from five to 100 years.
Although the frequency of flooding will not change, the new structure is designed to better withstand being inundated and battered with debris.
This will speed up the clean-up after floods, allowing Anichs Bridge to be re-opened faster after disaster events.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said increased load limit would improve safety at the crossing.
“The steel bridge girders and cross braces are corroded which impacts the ability to safely transport heavy equipment such as cane harvesters, tractors and haulage across the creek,” he said.
“With cane harvesting completed in that area and a bypass in there, our crews can start closing the existing bridge and working on building a new one.”
Council has ordered the piles which will be delivered on site early September, with pile driving scheduled for mid-September.
The Australian Government and the Douglas Shire Council are both funding $440,000 towards this $880,000 project.