Cudgen Creek Bridge to close for six months
CUDGEN Creek Bridge at Kingscliff will be closed for six months from June, with motorists to be diverted along Tweed Coast Rd and Cudgen Rd.
Casuarina and Salt residents will be the most inconvenienced by the closure for the construction of a new bridge, with the detour expected to add another 11 minutes, or 8.5km, to the journey between Marine Pde in Kingscliff and Casuarina Dr, near Salt Village.
The existing timber deck traffic bridge is to be replaced with a new, wider concrete structure built to contemporary standards.
It's expected to cost between $3 and $4 million, subject to tender, and take about 30 weeks to build.
Tweed Shire Council's planning and infrastructure engineer Danny Rose told a Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce breakfast that the new bridge would have the same design as the existing pedestrian bridge "so it will all look like one structure when it's all completed".
"It's a complete replacement but the standard of the bridge will be to contemporary standards," Mr Rose said.
The bridge deck will be 1.5m higher than the existing structure, to tie in with the pedestrian bridge, and wider at 4m.
A 200m road approach will be made up to one metre higher, while the existing three pylons of the timber traffic bridge will be removed and the current central concrete pylon of the footbridge extended to also support the new structure.
"Anyone who has tried to cross that when there's been a bus or something coming the other way, will understand the current bridge isn't wide enough for current traffic," Mr Rose said.
"We will be able to keep the pedestrian bridge open."
The new bridge, which will have rock-armoured bridge embankments, is expected to have an 80 to 100-year shelf life and reduce council's maintenance costs.
Casuarina resident Rachel Elliot said she would be disrupted but was pleased the bridge would be replaced.
"I usually travel on the bridge every morning and night so this will definitely be a disruption to my day," Ms Elliot said.
"But I'm happy the bridge is being replaced. It's always covered in flooding when it rains, so I'm happy the council are not waiting for something dramatic to happen to the structure before addressing it."
Another Casuarina resident, Angela van Vorst, said she already preferred to drive the long way around.
"If it needs to be done, it needs to be done," Ms van Vorst said.
"I'd prefer the temporary inconvenience than an unsafe bridge."
Another local, Mary Hughes, said it had to happen sometime.
"We ride or run to Kingy a lot so as long as the pedestrian bridge is still open, we will endure the inconvenience if we get a safer bridge in the end," she said.
But one resident, who asked not to be named, queried why the new bridge was not being built adjacent to the existing structure to maintain its use while the new bridge was under construction.