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Inside fascinating operation to secure river crossing

A “complex, rare and logistically challenging’’ operation to replace a 100-year-old Sunshine Coast bridge has been successfully completed - and captured in a compelling video. The 21m-long timber bridge is located at 298 River Road, Maroochy River, a rural suburb between Yandina and Marcoola. Historically, it was used for transporting cane via rail from farms to the sugar mill.

 
Inside fascinating operation to secure river crossing
Video courtesy of Shane Palethorpe and drone pilot Corey Josland.

A “complex, rare and logistically challenging’’ operation to replace a 100-year-old Sunshine Coast bridge has been successfully completed - and captured in a compelling video.

The 21m-long timber bridge is located at 298 River Road, Maroochy River, a rural suburb between Yandina and Marcoola.

Historically, it was used for transporting cane via rail from farms to the sugar mill.

In recent times, however, increased traffic loads and a steady stream of large trucks carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of material meant the bridge was at risk of failure.

Reaching the end of its viable life, the bridge was identified to be replaced with a new one commissioned by Sunshine Coast Council at a cost of $650,000, including design and construction.

Queensland companies Timber Restoration Services and Wood Research and Development, specialise in innovative timber bridge designs and were engaged for this project.

Local staff installed the replacement bridge which, interestingly, came from Oregon, in the United States. The pre-fabricated bridge delivered a cost-effective and long-lasting solution.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Click here to see how the bridge project unfolded

Sunshine Coast Council Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez said the rare project had been logistically challenging, but was needed to ensure access and longevity for the local community.

“The original, century-old, three-span bridge was designed for minimal traffic and up to 40-tonne loads, but more recently the weather and neighbouring developments saw an increase in traffic movements and load capacity up to 55 tonnes,” Cr Suarez said.

“While the bridge was maintained and upgraded over the years, the replacement was critical in providing a safe and reliable crossing for connecting our growing communities into the future.”

The new bridge is made from a softwood Coastal Douglas-Fir, native to the western coast of USA and Canada.

The softwood was pressure treated to laminate the wood which ensures its longevity for the next 100 years by protecting it from the coastal elements.

“I’m pleased the bridge was installed within five days thanks to a meticulously planned, precision operation with minimal inconvenience to the community,” Cr Suarez said.

“The new bridge now provides a durable and long-lasting solution for all road users.”