Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Latest News

22 December, 2020

Mystery shrouds bridge.

Leading up to the Christmas Holidays locals who use the Barron River Bridge at Kuranda have been left wondering why the bridge is still only operating at one lane.

By Phil Brandel

Locals are worried the Barron River Bridge may soon be reduced to a 20 tonne limit.

Leading up to the Christmas Holidays locals who use the Barron River Bridge at Kuranda have been left wondering why the bridge is still only operating at one lane.

The one-lane closure and load reduction to 50.5 tonnes has caused traffic hassles for locals as well as headaches for truck drivers.

While inspections of the bridge have been ad-hoc over the past few weeks, locals have been left wondering why the bridge is still only one lane on weekends and late at night when nobody is working on it?

Kuranda local Ranjini Rusch who is the admin of the Affordable Public Transport Kuranda Facebook page recently posted “Although the Kuranda Barron Bridge has been deemed safe, It has come to my attention that the damage to the bridge is quite serious and that the crack in the concrete had grown since it was last inspected,” she wrote. 

“It has also come to my attention that the weight limit may be reduced to possibly 20t and that the main lights at Kuranda turnoff will be put to use to operate the lights at the bridge (reducing the need for traffic controllers). 

“I sincerely hope we as residents of Kuranda and the surrounding region are not being left in the dark here in regard to the seriousness of the degradation of the Barron Bridge. 

“Just recently, driving down the range, there were 4 very large trucks crossing the bridge together in front of me. How can that be managing weight limits? How long will the Barron Bridge be reduced to one lane? We need answers. “

The Express posed a number of questions to TMR including When are inspections due to finish up? Why is the bridge still at one lane when there are no people working on the bridge? (after hours, weekends, etc) What specifically is wrong with the bridge, ie - what are TMR staff inspecting? 

Even the response from Traffic and Main roads has left many scratching their heads with a TMR spokesperson saying.

“We are carrying out inspections on the Barron River Bridge, near Kuranda,” they said.

 “The bridge has been reduced to one lane and we currently have no plans to change the load limit at this time.

 “We will receive a report next month (January 2021), which will provide recommendations on the best way forward, including a likely timeframe for the single-lane closure.

 “We thank motorists and residents for their patience and will provide further updates as more information becomes available.”

At Novembers Mareeba Shire Council meeting the topic of the bridge was brought up with councillors concerned that the bridge had been reduced to one lane with the possibility of its load limit being reduced from 50.5 tonne to just 25 tonne in the future.

A council spokesperson said, “We are writing to the state minister regarding the new load limits,”

“Council is concerned that if the bridge stays at one lane and is reduced to 25 tonne it will have major implications on the local community,” they said.






Most Popular


© 2020 The Express Newspaper - Providing Local News for Mareeba, Atherton, Cooktown, Kuranda & across the Tablelands.