A report sheds no light on what caused the bridge to fall.
A report sheds no light on what caused the bridge to fall. Sharyn O'Neill

Questions hang over old bridge

MAYOR Brad Carter will brave a hostile crowd on Sunday when he attends a public meeting in Mount Morgan about the collapse of the town's historic swinging bridge.

Cr Carter confirmed yesterday he would attend, along with divisional councillor Sandra O'Brien, to discuss the findings and recommendations of a provisional investigation by engineers on behalf of the Department of Resource Management.

The report, which was made public yesterday by Climate and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones, suggests there are three options.

These are:

Demolition and removal, leaving part of the structure in place for visitor interpretation;

Lifting the structure out of the water;

Restoration to allow safe use by the public.

But it leaves question marks hanging over why the historic bridge gave way and who was responsible.

Member for Mirani Ted Malone said he had expected the report to apportion blame and was surprised that it did not consider the reasons why the anchors gave way.

The report was “commissioned to provide comments on the possibility of salvaging the structure”.

So it leaves the thorny issue of whether the bridge was sabotaged open to deliberation.

“This report doesn't clear anyone, nor does it blame anyone,” Mr Malone said.

But Cr Carter issued a statement yesterday afternoon in which he said the report had exonerated the council.

He said a more detailed report would be presented to councillors on November 9 with cost estimates.

The Government had already committed up to $50,000 to assist with whichever option the council chooses to adopt.

Mr Malone urged the Government to follow recommendations in the report and repair the bridge.

He points out that the engineers believe repair would be the lowest cost option compared with constructing either a new pedestrian or road bridge.

READ MORE ...

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