Opening of the Kidd Bridge in 1961. It is time proper planning started on the flood-proof bridge linking Gympie to the Southside, says Tony Perrett.
Opening of the Kidd Bridge in 1961. It is time proper planning started on the flood-proof bridge linking Gympie to the Southside, says Tony Perrett. Contributed

Start planning for flood-proof bridge to Southside: MP

GYMPIE and its biggest growth corridor, the Southside, needs a bigger, better higher bridge link, and proper planning for that bridge needs to start now, Gympie MP Tony Perrett said this week.

Mr Perrett met with the new regional head of Transport and Main Roads for the Wide Bay/Burnett, Stephen Mallows, on Wednesday, and told Mr Mallows the region needed to be prepared for the population growth that was already happening and will only increase, so that the region can capitalise on economic opportunities.

Normanby bridge getting a clean-off to open traffic to the Southside during one of Gympie's floods.
Normanby bridge getting a clean-off to open traffic to the Southside during one of Gympie's floods. Renee Pilcher

CLICK HERE: When Gympie floods

Prioritising road safety, improving access and maintenance on State roads and improving and planning for further infrastructure were among the highlighted concerns for the region's State road network, he said.

Kidd Bridge under water. It doesn't take much to flood Kidd Bridge, and once it is closed, traffic mayhem ensues over Normanby Bridge and its approaches.
Kidd Bridge under water. It doesn't take much to flood Kidd Bridge, and once it is closed, traffic mayhem ensues over Normanby Bridge and its approaches. Renee Pilcher

"Addressing these priorities ensures that it meets both expectations of locals and will prepare the region for future population growth and open it up to more economic opportunities,” Mr Perrett said.

READ MORE: Flood free bridge idea has merit

"This is about smart planning, flood proofing, and making the entire road network safer and improving access for locals, workers, businesses and tourists.

"That is why everything from upgrading and planning for bridges, resealing and upgrade programs, creating a duplicate route along the coast, improving safety and continuing the LNP's strong commitment on upgrading the Bruce Hwy should be the focus in our region.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett under Normanby Bridge.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett under Normanby Bridge. Renee Pilcher

Also on the agenda at the briefing was the imminent plans to upgrade the notorious intersection of the Bruce Hwy and Wide Bay Hwy north of Gympie, raising the Coondoo Creek Bridge, upgrading the Mary Valley Hwy to improve safety, a new bridge over the Six Mile Creek on the Pomona to Kin Kin Road, completing the Coastal Link road, especially the Noonan Range section thereby creating an alternative route from Caloundra through to Hervey Bay without having to travel on the Bruce Hwy.

"The Government is already aware of these projects as I have already raised them in the Parliament or spoken to and written to the minister putting them forward for consideration,” Mr Perrett said.

Traffic on Rocklea Drive trying to get over Normanby Bridge after the flood. It doesn't take much to flood Kidd Bridge, and once it is closed, traffic mayhem ensues over Normanby Bridge and its approaches.
Traffic on Rocklea Drive trying to get over Normanby Bridge after the flood. It doesn't take much to flood Kidd Bridge, and once it is closed, traffic mayhem ensues over Normanby Bridge and its approaches. Renee Pilcher

"This region has one of the lowest socio-economic and unemployment profiles in the state and a greater emphasis needs to be on real projects which provide value for money and long term economic benefits.

"If the Government is genuine about funding infrastructure it will invest in these projects,” he said.

Gympie Times


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