Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

SAVE THE BRIDGE Community Support Is Thrown Behind Bridge; Community Support for Piece of History

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

SAVE THE BRIDGE Community Support Is Thrown Behind Bridge; Community Support for Piece of History

Article excerpt

Byline: Carly Morrissey

GYMPIE'S Railway Hotel manager Brenda Portch is ready to chain herself to the pedestrian footbridge over the Mary Valley Heritage Railway tracks to save the historic structure.

She says Gympie Regional Council's move to demolish the Gympie railway landmark is unbelievable.

"It's an icon...it's the same as the railway station," she said.

Ms Portch said kids stood on the top of the bridge on weekends to watch the Valley Rattler steam train.

Meanwhile, council has denied a plan to raise Gympie's Station Road to the level of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway tracks was drafted before it was found the footbridge over the lines needed replacing.

The drawing, drafted on July 13, was shown to councillors at this week's Works and Services Committee meeting.

Committee chairman Larry Friske said the Station Road intersections with Lady Mary Terrace and Tozer Street and Mellor Street and Chapple Street had always been a amajor hasslea.

He said while council had received numerous complaints about traffic safety in the area, there was no formal plan to raise the road.

It was revealed at the meeting $80,000 had been allocated in council's budget to pull down the MVHR-owned bridge connecting the railway station with the heritage listed Railway Hotel and replace it with an aat gradea crossing.

But councillors are yet to hold discussions with the MVHR and make a final decision on the footbridge's fate.

Cr Friske said a drafted photo showing a possible road upgrade was seen by councillors for the first time at this week's meeting.

The proposed upgrade plan would result in the Station Road subway being filled and the road raised to improve visibility at the intersections, with Station Road passing through the Railway Hotel car park.

MVHR requested council to assess and repair the bridge but after a report showed 80 per cent of the deck was rotten and it was unsafe, councillors voted to hold discussions with the MVHR to find a solution that could save ratepayers' money. …

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