New bridge plans well under way for stranded residents
Stockpiling before rains roll in will soon be a thing of the past as Whitsunday Regional Council pushes forward with plans for a new bridge.
Ted Cunningham Bridge on Strathmore Rd connects many residents living in rural areas around Collinsville to shops and services in town and further east to other Whitsunday towns.
During heavy rains they are cut off as water surges over the bridge.
However, plans are firmly in place to build a new bridge and allow residents and visitors year-round access across the Bowen river.
The single lane, low-level bridge will be replaced by a $4.6 million single lane carriageway that will sit higher over the river.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said design work on the bridge is moving quickly with plans to call for tenders soon.
The council is jointly funding the replacement alongside the federal and state government.
Bowen River Hotel publican Clare Ringland said flooding on the bridge was not an unusual event.
She said it went under "every time it rains".
Wet weather is set to continue over the coming days with 30mm forecast to fall in Collinsville on Thursday and about 50mm on Friday.
Whitsunday Regional Council infrastructure services director Matt Fanning said staff would keep an eye on the river conditions as rain continued.
Division 4 Michelle Wright hoped the bridge replacement would provide relief for residents and urged people to take care during the deluge.
"We are in our wet season so if you're travelling in the Whitsunday region in coming weeks please proceed with caution and remember, if it's flooded, forget it," she said.