Drilling is for a bridge, not dam

Drilling has resumed on the banks of the Mary River.
Drilling has resumed on the banks of the Mary River. Craig Warhurst

ALARMED Mary Valley residents can breathe easy once more – the drilling activity now taking place on the site of the now defunct Traveston Crossing dam project is not a bad dream and is not connected to any plan to proceed somehow with the dam.

Although full Main Roads Department details were still being prepared for The Gympie Times and its readers late yesterday, information provided to the Mary Valley Renewal team is that the work is part of equally big news for the Valley and Bruce Highway drivers.

Renewal team member Glenda Pickersgill said the drilling was part of research for planning a new link from Traveston Crossing to the Bruce Highway.

THE work is in line with early advice provided to Gympie Regional Council about plans to upgrade dangerous existing intersections with the Bruce Highway, including the Traveston Road and Traveston Crossing Road intersections.

Although reluctant to go into details, council Engineering director Bob Fredman told a council meeting earlier this year about the plans, which he said would be good safety news for highway drivers.

The upgrades would be needed to match the construction work currently underway on the re-routed section of Bruce Highway to Traveston.

Several readers contacted the paper this week to report the sight of a drilling rig currently at work on the south-western side of the Mary River, adjacent to what would have been the location of the dam.

The sight brought back memories of similar structures very nearby, which were part of a program of test drilling to attempt to find suitable foundation rock for a dam.

However, Ms Pickersgill said the drilling was a sign of a future road and bridge instead.

“They are gathering info about foundations for an alternative to Traveston Crossing Road, to come off the new highway section,” she said, adding that this would mean another Mary River crossing.

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