End of the line for rail bridge
THE Mount Morgan Railway Bridge will be demolished but its fate could prompt ongoing maintenance on other icons in the town, according to Camille Steinberger.
The Mount Morgan Promotion and Development project officer said the decision reinforced the need for the sub-committee formed to focus on the preservation of the town's other historic icons and historically important areas.
"It is sad news, especially when you consider the bridge is more than 100 years old and that some of the community's relatives helped to build it," Ms Steinberger said.
"As a curved bridge, it was quite unique for the area and it's disappointing for many to see the condition it is in."
The Rockhampton Regional Council's parks and recreation committee accepted the recommendation that the bridge be demolished at a cost of $75,000.
Council officers have also been directed to prepare a strategic report for the future operation of the Mount Morgan Railway Station.
The 13-span bridge over the Dee River was built in 1910-11.
The council had commissioned Cardno to complete a bridge assessment in August.
The bridge was found to be in such poor condition that it was unlikely that any significant portion could be retained due to the expected high ongoing maintenance costs.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said it was heartbreaking to tell a community that one of its prized possessions had to go but she praised the residents for their common-sense approach.
"It is an extraordinary example of people putting the good of their community ahead of their personal desires," she said.
Ms Steinberger said the new sub-committee would work with relevant stakeholders to see that the town's remaining icons were maintained and could be enjoyed by future generations.
"We consider tourism to be vital for the area's economic development," she said. "Mount Morgan is an historic town and its heritage assets and locations play a key role in its historic story."
MMPAD hopes to see an extended rail line or another bridge investigated as part of future operations.