OPINION: Yeppen bridge couldn’t fix all our problems
THE $175 million South Yeppen Bridge fixed the flooded-highway access problem to the Rockhampton-Livingstone districts, but left the city and region with serious, unresolved traffic and rail issues.
These concerns are the flood-prone section of the Bruce Hwy through Rockhampton (Gladstone Rd), no cattle road train access though the city to the meatworks, freight rail disruptions to traffic and the eventual need for a third river crossing or ring road/bypass due to congestion.
All these problems could have been dealt with by a government building for the future rather than looking for the cheapest solution.
This was more about a budget, not a vision.
One proposal was to build a crossing from around the Mt Morgan turnoff across the river and passing behind the Berserker ranges to link with the highway north, making the Capricorn Coast more accessible to tourists.
Now, as three tiers of government grapple with the solution to the cattle truck/road train dilemma, we can only wonder what the cost will be.
The off-ramp at the northern side of the Neville Hewitt bridge looks like it will be at least $30 to $50m, based on $8m for the Emmaus College footbridge and the $50m overpass to the Gracemere Industrial Area.
The solution to the Gladstone Rd problem would be around $50m according to studies, however a $50m South Rockhampton level bank would fix this problem and save 1500 properties from flooding.
There will come a time when we will need a bypass ring road, but based on previous government planning this will be done in a crisis not as visionary foresight.
What might have been?