A key upgrade is now complete on the Warners Bridge near Mossman, providing a welcome boost for farmers and heavy vehicle operators just in time for the 2023 sugarcane crush.
The new bridge, which passes over Cassowary Creek on Warner Road south-east of the Far North township, now has an increased 44 tonne load limit – making it more suitable to handling heavier vehicles such as sugarcane harvesters, tractors and other machinery.
The $1.25 million bridge replacement project was jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program (BRP), with the Australian Government contributing $625,000 and Douglas Shire Council also tipping in $625,000.
The old timber bridge will remain open for passage by sugarcane trains.
Warners Bridge is the second rural crossing in the region to recently receive an upgrade, after Council completed the new Anich’s Bridge on Finlayvale Road last year, also jointly funded with the Australian Government through the BRP.
Applications for BRP funding are accepted all year round from state, territory and local governments, to provide flexibility and allow projects to be submitted when they will most benefit the community.
For more information on the BRP, including how to apply for funding, visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au/bridges.
To find out more about Council’s projects, visit: https://douglas.qld.gov.au/projects/.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Member for Eden-Monaro, the Hon Kristy McBain MP:
“Having fit-for-purposes bridges is critical to safe roads and thriving industry in our regional communities, which is why we’re committing up to $85 million per year towards our Bridges Renewal Program.
“Our $625,000 investment in the Warner Bridge replacement project will benefit farmers and locals in this sugarcane heartland, by keeping our freight industry moving and improving the road network for heavy vehicle drivers.
“I’m proud we could partner with the Douglas Shire Council to deliver this region-shaping project, and I look forward to supporting more vital regional infrastructure improvements across the country.”
Quotes attributable to Douglas Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Kerr:
“The new bridge is located downstream of the old timber bridge, which was well overdue for an upgrade.
“It is a vital investment into a better and safer crossing for rural residents and sugarcane machinery.
“It will also reduce maintenance costs incurred by debris removal after floods.
“I would like to thank the Australian Government for its contribution in funding this priority infrastructure.”