UPGRADE: Work begins on bridge with man entombed inside
IN ONE of the big steel cylinders holding up Miva's Dickabram Bridge, it is believed the body of one of the men who helped build it rests inside.
As work is carried out on the bridge over the next few months, the memory of the tragedies that marred the building of the 133-year-old structure have been recalled.
The most well-known was the disappearance of a worker who was presumed to have died while wheeling a barrow of cement to tip into one of the four big steel cylinders.
It is believed the man wheeled his barrow over the edge and fell into the wet cement.
No one actually saw it happen, but neither the man nor his barrow were ever seen again and it is believed several other barrow loads were quickly tipped on top of him.
In 2017, when rehabilitation works were first touted for the bridge, Will Nahrung, who lives near the bridge, told the Chronicle while no one had actually seen the man fall, it was likely he had become trapped in the wet cement.
"The man and his wheel barrow disappeared and it was assumed he was in there," he said.
Work on the bridge started last month and is set to continue until November 29.
The bridge will be closed until that time as some of the aged timber girders, decker and piles are replaced.
Due to the age and design of the bridge, coupled with the complexity of the required rehabilitation works, the project cannot be completed without full bridge closures.
The rehabilitation project could extend into 2020, but the existing funding allocation is due to be spent this year.
A statement from the Department of Transport and Main Roads said if further funding was secured, it would update the public regarding works beyond 2019.
"The department recognises the impact that the bridge closures have on the community," the statement read.
"Multiple crews will continue to operate, where practical, to accelerate the works."