The MVHR has defended the footbridge that Gympie Regional Council says has to go.
The MVHR has defended the footbridge that Gympie Regional Council says has to go. Craig Warhurst

Buckling footbridge can't be saved

A BUCKLING footbridge that can hardly hold its own weight anymore may become a burden for the Mary Valley Heritage Rail (MVHR).

MVHR manager Jim Walker said it would be an expense to remove the wooden truss footbridge over Mellor Street but the main negative would be having to re-route Race the Rattler if the bridge was removed.

At yesterday’s Gympie Regional Council Works and Services Committee meeting, the committee recommended to ask MVHR to remove the footbridge “as a matter of urgency”. But that resolution will need to be ratified in the next general meeting before it takes effect.

Mr Walker said the bridge was currently barricaded and he knew there was always a possibility it would need to be removed if it couldn’t be repaired.

General Manager of Design Services Ross Chapman told yesterday’s meeting the bridge was buckling under its own weight.

Council also recommends commissioning a structural design engineer to assess the structural integrity of the rail/pedestrian over-bridge adjacent to the truss footbridge.

Mr Chapman said the over-bridge looked “pretty sound” but the decking and steps needed replacing.

Council will also wait for a report from its design division on the need to retain the Shanks Street and Monkland Station rail pedestrian over-bridges. Mr Walker said losing the footbridge would be a “little bit of a loss” and he was now looking into whether or not the structure was heritage-listed.

While council has undertaken some maintenance work on the bridges, Mr Chapman said in a report that the footbridges future usefulness was of very low priority and the ownership of the bridges is unclear.

Gympie Times

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