Petition starts bridge works

A PETITION has helped bring forward a $25 million project to replace the 54-year-old Isis River Bridge.

The State Government has confirmed works will start this month.

The project, originally promised in 2007, was pushed back due to funding delays.

It was brought forward after a number of serious road crashes last year prompted the Fraser Coast Chronicle's sister paper Isis Town and Country to start a petition.

The petition raised 2000 signatures just weeks from the community and tourist support.

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said Transport Minister Craig Wallace would be in the Isis district in a few weeks to inspect the project.

“The new, higher and wider bridge promises to provide improved safety for all road users and will feature an improved road alignment, new and smoother road surface, improved property accesses, a new guardrail and better signage,” Main Roads said.

“A strengthened road surface will minimise road surface failures and provide a smoother driving surface for motorists.”

A strong supporter of the action was federal Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said he was delighted the government had finally come to the party.

“The target date had only been brought forward through community pressure, though,” he said.

Mr Neville hopes the new bridge will be just the first of many upgrades to the Bruce Highway, which he felt had been neglected north of Cooroy.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads introduced a reduced speed limit of 80km at both approaches several months ago, which has already meant a reduction in the number of incidents.

The project is due for completion by September next year.

Drivers will continue to use the old bridge until that time.

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