News

Death trap bridge could kill the unwary

Woolooga residents standing on the Running Creek bridge wanting an upgrade are Phil Stanford, Steve Turner, Sean Barrett, Nevile and Joy Turner and Sharon Turner.
Woolooga residents standing on the Running Creek bridge wanting an upgrade are Phil Stanford, Steve Turner, Sean Barrett, Nevile and Joy Turner and Sharon Turner. Renee Albrecht

THERE seems to be one constant factor in single-vehicle accidents in Woolooga. It's Running Creek Bridge.

The ground level wooden bridge, which is met either side by two serious bends and gravely road, has been the scene of four car accidents in the past 12 months.

And Woolooga residents are calling for funding to change the dangerous crossing.

"None of us want to be the first person to come across a fatal," cattle farmer Phil Stanford points out.

The group of Woolooga residents fear if something is not done soon, the problem will worsen.

Residents say the bridge, on Brooweena Woolooga Rd, has a combination of factors that make it highly dangerous.

Sharp bends approaching the bridge, coupled with loose gravel built up on the dirt on its approaches mean unwary drivers have a higher than normal chance of losing control over the bridge or down the embankments, residents say.

The bridge, which runs about 45 metres long, drops about four metres into water of an unknown depth.

"It's deep enough to submerge a car and drown you if you go off the edge," Mr Stanford said, peering over the edge.

Woolooga resident Sharon Turner said the problem is made worse by unknowing travellers being led across the bridge by their GPS navigators.

"The traffic has increased because we get tourists and people from the city whose GPSs have sends them on the shortest route," she said.

The road is used as a quicker path for people travelling between the South Burnett and Gympie.

"It's a dangerous spot, no ifs or buts," Sharon's husband Steve said.

In 1978, Mr Turner's brother was driving when his car went over the bridge. He said his grandfather's back was broken in the accident, and only a few months ago his father ran off the side of the bridge.

It seems every Woolooga local has a story about an accident on the bridge, including the recent accident where a woman was trapped in her car that was suspended from the bridge by the motorbike trailer it was pulling.

An attempt to address the problem long ago got as far as funding which resulted in surveying of a straightened road in readiness for a new bridge upstream.

"There's been money to fix this up for years but changes to government mean the money has been spent elsewhere," Mrs Turner said.

The question is - has the project been put on the back burner, or has it been put on the scrap heap?

The bridge is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Main Roads and Transport.

Residents thought funding from the Federal Government's Bridges Renewal Program may be a way to secure funding for a change to the crossing.

But probing on the issue found while the Commonwealth Government does supply funding to upgrade existing rural bridges, it would not cover new bridges or approaches.

And this is the big fix needed, according to locals.

"It needs to be fixed before it is too late," Mrs Turner said.

The Gympie Times did not hear back from Minister for Main Roads, Mark Bailey on the subject before close of business.

Gympie Times

Topics:  woolooga




UPDATE: Man charged with endangering children in Gympie

The man and two children were travelling in this vehicle.

The two children were missing from Emerald

Men in custody after police swarm house, find missing baby

Police believe the baby girl may be with a 16-year-old and 19-year-old in a green 1995 Mazda 121 with Queensland registration 045GOS, and could be heading to Toowoomba.

The two men and baby girl could be heading to Toowoomba

Debate rages over $65 levy to help resurrect Rattler

Gympie Regional Council's decision to impose an Economic Development Levy to help get the Rattler back on track has come under fire from letter writers to The Gympie Times.

Debate rages in our letters to the editor over the Rattler levy

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa