Road safety at a creek crossing on the border of Ipswich and Somerset has been improved with the completion of a $1.3 million upgrade.
The Sandy Creek culvert on Pine Mountain Road has been replaced by a single span, two-lane bridge as part of a project funded by the Federal Government Bridges Renewal Program, Ipswich City Council and Somerset Regional Council.
The new structure is free from heavy vehicle load limits, less prone to flood closures, and more resilient to damage during extreme weather events.
General Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Department Charlie Dill said council had supported SRC as a neighbouring local authority with connecting road networks, to maintain working alliances and relationships.
“As a council boundary bridge (asset) we had a financial obligation to part-fund (25 per cent) of the total project cost,” he said.
“Being a crucial piece of road infrastructure in that area, it supports residents from both regions. We share a common goal with SRC in providing safe and efficient local road networks.
Mr Dill said Ipswich had a long history of supporting other SEQ councils.
“Council recognises the community and economic benefits of bridges for commercial activities. It develops healthy relationships entering into MoU agreements with our neighbouring councils,” he said.
“This new piece of infrastructure will increase the potential for sustainable growth for commercial, residential and tourism transport movements.’
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the upgrade continued council’s commitment to road safety and bridge renewal.
“The load limit on the culvert was lowered in May 2017 based on advice from engineers,” Cr Lehmann said.
“At the time, structural inspection reports indicated the existing steel culvert was in poor condition and was at significant risk of failing.
“More than 60 bridges have already been replaced in Somerset, and we have recently secured funding to replace another two, completing a substantial renewal of council’s bridge network.
“The Sandy Creek crossing is a joint asset shared by Somerset and Ipswich, and I thank our neighbouring council for its support, and also acknowledge significant funding from the Bridges Renewal Program.”