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QTA calls for long-term solution for Bremer River Bridge

Bremer River Bridge

The Queensland Trucking Association says a $42.5 state government spend on the Bremer River Bridge isn’t enough to address the underlying issues that it faces.

QTA CEO Gary Mahon has called for a “long-term” solution, rather than an “interim” fix.

“We’re pleased to hear that interim money is being spent to keep this bridge open to some extent, but we want to see what the longer term solution is,” he says.

“When you look at the value of the freight coming from the south, the agriculture from the Southern Downs and Central West, we need better than an interim solution.”

The bridge is 65-years-old, and according to the QTA, in significant need of repairs or a complete rebuild.

Trucks have had to be diverted from the bridge since November after cracks were found in it, making it unsafe for heavy vehicles to cross over.

This is adding significant time to journeys for truckies travelling through Queensland, meaning more drivers are having to travel through Cunningham’s Gap instead.

“We need to significantly improve the efficiency of road freight around the country for the productivity benefit of the country, for safety, to lower the fuel burn per trip so there’s a much more efficient movement of a tonne of freight with PBS vehicles, and here we are, on probably the most significant freight corridor in the state, being limited by a bridge,” Mahon says.

“Especially when only 80km up the road we spent $1.7 billion on the Toowoomba Second Range. If it’s going to the Central Highlands it adds about 400km to the trip and it also holds up the Cunningham.

“We spent all that money on the Toowoomba Second Range and we’re using Cunningham’s Gap as the alternate because Bremer River Bridge can’t handle it.

“They won’t approve 32.5m which is a sensible combination to put a sleeper on an A-double. There are some very good combinations that are highly efficient that come into that category around 32.5m and the Bremer River Bridge is limiting that.

“The Warrego [Highway] is being limited in a number of ways so more and more freight is starting to head out the Cunningham.”

There are still significant works underway on the bridge, with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads saying it is “actively addressing safety concerns” in a recent statement.

It is seeking a further $42.5 million in matched funding from the federal government to complete the bridge works.

There are currently speed and mass restrictions on the bridge, with night works currently taking place between the hours of 8pm and 5am on Sunday to Thursday. Speed limits have been reduced to 70kmh.

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