Death knell for railway bridge
WE went to sleep on Tuesday night with the city’s historical landscape intact and woke to find it had changed with the removal of the Mellor Street railway bridge overpass.
It’s “beyond repair” condition and its “low priority” on council’s spending list, had the grim reaper paying an early morning visit.
“There are all sorts of demands on our funds, road repairs, footpaths, council money goes where it is most needed,” Director of Engineering Bob Fredman said of council’s decision not to save it from demolition.
“There was no funding from state or federal governments and the Mary Valley Heritage Rail has no spare funds.”
As for the future of the timber bridge that leads to the Railway Hotel, Mr Fredman said “council has to balance things.”
“Do we replace the timber bridges or asphalt Gympie streets?
“Do we keep the Elgin Vale steam saw mill in safe, good condition or do we bitumen X, Y and Z roads?
“It’s the job of councillors to vote on what to save. We all love heritage but everything’s got a price and a priority. It’s nice to keep the best example of heritage but something else will be sacrificed.”
Mr Fredman said the Gympie community has a “great respect for heritage – more so than other towns” but that needed to be balanced with “standard of living.”
“It’s not only council, look at the Catholic Church, it had to decide what to keep and what to dispose of.
“It’s tragic to lose a connection with the past.
“Council was able to assist with keeping the railway station and the line – they are two good reminders of the past in their own right.